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University of California Berkeley 




ise of ti)e 





11 vostro malignare non giova nulla. 








To my very gentle and liberal Friends, M. Barnabe Barnes, M. John 
Thoriusy M. Antony Chewt, and every favourable Reader. 

OVING M. Barnabe, M. lohn, and M. Antony, (for 
the rest of my partial commenders must pardon me, 
till the print be better acquainted with their names) 
I have lately received your thrice-courteous letters, 
with the overplus of your thrice-sweet Sonnets 
annexed : the liberalest gifts, I believe, that ever you bestowed 
upon so slight occasion, and the very prodigalest fruits of your 
flourishing wits. Whose only default is, not your, but my default, 
that the matter is nothing correspondent to the manner ; and my- 
self must either grossly forget myself, or frankly acknowledge my 
simple self an unworthy subject of so worthy commendations : which 
I cannot read without blushing, repeat without shame, or remem- 
ber without grief, that I come so exceeding short in so excessive 
great accounts ; the sums of your rich largess, not of my poor 
desert ; and percase devised to advertise me what I should be, or 
to signify what you wish to be ; not to declare what I am, or to 


insinuate what I may be. Eloquence and courtesy were ever 
bountiful in the amplifying vein : and it hath been reputed a 
friendly policy to encourage their loving acquaintance to labour the 
attainment of those perfections, which they blazon in them, as 
already achieved. Either some such intention you have, by way 
of stratagem to awaken my negligence, or enkindle my confidence 
or you are disposed by way of civility to make me unreasonably 
beholding unto you for your extreme affection, which I must either 
leave unrequited, or recompense affection with affection, and re- 
commend me unto you with your own stratagem, fitter to animate 
fresher spirits, or to whet finer edges. Little other use can I, or 
the world reap of those great-great commendations, wherewith you, 
and divers other orient wits have newly surcharged me, by tendering 
so many kind apologies in my behalf, and presenting so many 
sharp invectives against my adversaries : unless also you purposed 
to make me notably ashamed of my confessed insufficiency, guilty 
of so manifold imperfections, in respect of the least semblance of 
those imputed singularities. Whatsoever your intendment in an 
overflowing affection was, I am none of those that greedily surfeit 
of self-conceit, or sottishly hug their own babies. Narcissus was a 
fair boy, but a boy : Suffenus a noble braggard, but a braggard : 
Nestor a sweet-tongued old man, but an old man ; and Tully (whom 
I honour in his virtues, and excuse in his oversights) an eloquent 
self-lover, but a self-lover. He that thought to make himself famous 
with his overweening and braving Il'e, Il'e, Il'e, might perhaps 
nourish an aspiring imagination to imitate his Ego, Ego, Ego, so 
gloriously reiterated in his gallant Orations. Some smirking mi- 
nions are fine fellows in their own heads, and some crank Prin- 
cocks jolly men in their own humours : as desperate in resolution 
as the doughtiest rank of errant knights ; and as coy in phantasy as 
the nicest sort of simpering damsels, that in their own glasses find 
no creature so beautiful, or amiable, as their delicious selves. I 

have beheld, and who hath not seen some lofty conceits, towering 
very high, and coying themselves sweetly on their own amounting 
wings, young feathers of old Icarus. The gay peacock is won- 
derously enamoured upon the glittering fan of his own gorgeous tail, 
and weeneth himself worthy to be crowned the prince of birds, and 
to be enthronished in the chair of supreme excellency. Would 
Christ, the green poppinjay, with his newfangled jests, as new as 
Newgate, were not as much to say, as his own idol ! Quaint wits 
must have a privilege to prank up their dainty limbs, and to fawn 
upon their own tricksy devices. But they that unpartially know 
themselves, severely examine their own abilities, uprightly counter- 
poise defects with sufficiencies, frankly confess the greatest part of 
their knowledge to be the least part of their ignorance, advisedly 
weigh the difficulties of the painful and toilsome way, the hard 
maintenance of credit easily gotten, the impossible satisfaction of 
unsatisfiable expectation, the uncertain fickleness of private phan- 
tasy, and the certain brittleness of public fame, are not lightly be- 
witched with a fond doting upon their own plumes. And they that 
deeply consider upon the weakness of inward frailty, the casualty 
of outward fortune, the detraction of envy, the virulency of malice, 
the counter-policy of ambition, and a hundred-hundred impeach- 
ments of growing reputation : that as well divinely, as philosophi- 
cally have learned to love the gentleness of Humanity, to embrace 
the mildness of Modesty, to kiss the meekness of Humility, to loathe 
the odiousness of Pride, to assuage the eagerness of Spite, to prevent 
the vengeance of Hatred, to reap the sweet fruits of Temperance, to 
tread the smooth path of Security, to take the firm course of As- 
surance, and to enjoy the felicity of Contentment : that judiciously 
have framed themselves to carry minds, like their bodies and for- 
tunes, as appertaineth unto them, that would be loath to overreach 
in presumptuous conceit; they, I say, and all they that would 
jather underly the reproach of Obscurity, than overcharge their 


mediocrity with an illusive opinion of extraordinary furniture, and 
I wot not what imaginary compliments, are readier, and a thousand 
times readier to return the greatest praises, where they are debt, 
than to accept the meanest, where they are alms. And I could 
nominate some, that in effect make the same reckoning of letters, 
sonnets, orations, or other writings commendatory, that they do of 
meat without nourishment, of herbs without virtue, of plants with- 
out fruit, of a lamp without oil, a link without light, or a fire without 
heat. Only some of us are not so devoid of good manner, but we 
conceive what belongeth to civil duty, and will ever be pressed to 
entertain courtesy with courtesy, and to requite any friendship with 
friendship : unfeignedly desirous, rather to recompense in deeds, 
than to gloss or paint in words. You may easily persuade me to 
publish that was long sithence finished in writing, and is now almost 
dispatched in print : (the amends must be addressed in some other 
more material treatise, or more formal discourse : and haply Nash's 
S. Fame may supply some defects of Pierces Supererogation :) but 
to suffer your thrice-affectionate letters and sonnets, or rather your 
thrice-lavish benevolences to be published, which so far surmount 
not only the mediocrity of my present endeavour, but even the 
possibility of any my future improvement; I could not be per- 
suaded by any eloquence, or importunacy in the world, were I not 
as monstrously reviled by some other without reason, as I am ex- 
cessively extolled by you without cause. In which case he may 
seem to a discreet enemy excusable, to an indifferent friend justi- 
fiable, that is not transported with his own passion, but relieth on 
the judgment of the learnedest, and referreth himself to the practice 
of the wisest. In the one, esteeming Plutarch or Homer as an 
hundred authors ; in the other, valuing Cato or Scipio as a thousand 
examples. I never read or heard of any respective or considerate 
person, under the degree of those that might revenge at pleasure, 
contemn with authority, assecure themselves from common obloquy, 

or command public reputation (mighty men may find it a policy to 
take a singular or extraordinary course), so careless of his own 
credit, so reckless of the present time, so senseless of the posterity, 
so negligent in occurrences of consequence, so dissolute in his pro- 
ceedings, so prodigal of his name, so devoid of all regard, so bereft 
of common sense, so vilely base, or so hugely haughty of mind ; 
that in case of infamous imputation, or unworthy reproach, notori- 
ously scattered abroad, thought it not requisite, or rather necessary, 
to stand upon his own defence according to equity, and even to 
labour his own commendation according to the presented occasion. 
Discourses yield plenty of reasons ; and histories afford store of 
examples. It is no vain-glory to permit with consideration that 
abused Modesty hath affected with discretion. It is vanity to con- 
trol that, true Honour hath practised ; and folly to condemn that, 
right Wisdom hath allowed. If any dislike Immodesty indeed, 
despise Vanity indeed, reprove Arrogancy indeed, or loathe Vain- 
glory indeed ; I am as forward with tongue and heart as the fore- 
most of the forwardest ; and were my pen answerable, perhaps at 
occasion it should not greatly lag behind. To accomplish or ad- 
vance any virtuous purpose (sith it is now enforced to be stirring), 
it might easily be intreated, even to the uttermost extent of that 
little-little possibility, wherewith it hath pleased the greatest to 
endow it. Howbeit Courtesy is as ready to overload with praise, 
as Malice eager to overthrow with reproach. Both overshoot, as 
the manner is ; but malice is the devil. For my poor part, I hope 
the one shall do me as little harm as fair weather in my journey ; I 
am sure the other hath done me more good than was intended, and 
shall never puddle or annoy the course of the clear running water. 
Albeit I have studied much, and learned little : yet I have learned 
to glean some handfuls of corn out of the rankest cockle ; to make 
choice of the most fragrant flowers of humanity, the most virtuous 
herbs of philosophy, the most sovereign fruits of government, and 


the most heavenly manna of divinity : to be acquainted with the 
fairest, provided for the foulest, delighted with the temperatest, 
pleased with the meanest, and contented with all weather. Greater 
men may profess, and can achieve greater matters ; I thank God I 
know the length, that is, the shortness of mine own foot. If it be 
any man's pleasure to extenuate my sufficiency in other knowledge, 
or practise, to impeach my ability in words or deeds, to debase my 
fortune, to abridge my commendations, or to annihilate my fame, 
he shall find a cold adversary of him that hath laid hot passions 
a watering, and might easily be induced to be the invective of his 
own non-proficiency. Only he craveth leave to estimate his credit, 
and to value his honesty, as behoveth every man that regardeth 
any good : and if withal it be his unfeigned request, that order 
should repeal disorder, moderation restrain licentiousness, discre. 
tion abandon vanity, mildness assuage choler, meekness allay ar- 
rogancy, consideration reclaim rashness, indifFerency attemper pas- 
sion, Courtesy mitigate, Charity appease, and Unity atone debate: 
pardon him. Or in case nothing will prevail with fury but fury, 
and nothing can win desired amity but pretended hostility, that 
must drive out one nail with another, and beat away one wedge with 
another, according to the Latin proverb ; pardon him also, that in 
the resolution of a good mind will command what he cannot entreat, 
and extort what he cannot persuade. That little may be done with 
no great ado ; and seeing it may as surely as easily be done, I am 
humbly to beseech established Wisdom to wink at one experiment 
of adventurous Folly ; never before embarked in any such action, 
and ever to eschew the like with a chary regard, where any other 
mediation may purchase redress. I will not urge what connivance 
hath been noted in as disfavourable cases : it is sufficient for me to 
plead mine own acquittal. Other praise he affecteth not, that in a 
deep insight into his innermosts parts, findeth not the highest pitch 
of his hope equivalent to the lowest pit of your commendation. And 


if by a gentle construction, or a favorous encouragement, he seemeth 
any thing in others' opinion, that is nothing in his own censure ; the 
lesser his merit, the greater their mercy; and the barrener his 
desert, the fruitfuller your liberality. Whose unmeasurable praises I 
am to interpret, not as they may seem in some bounteous conceit, 
but as they are in mine own knowledge ; good words, but unfitly 
applied ; friendly benevolences, but wastefully bestowed ; gallant 
amplifications, but slenderly deserved : what but terms of civility, 
or favours of courtesy, or hyperboles of love, whose frank allowance 
I shall not be able to earn with the study of twenty years more : in 
brief, nothing but partial witnesses, prejudicate judgments, idle 
preambles, and in effect mere words. And even so, as I found them, 
I leave them. Yet let me not dismiss so extensive courtesy with 
an empty hand. Whatsoever I am (that am the least little of 
my thoughts, and the greatest contempt of mine own heart), Par- 
thenophil and Parthenophe embellished, the Spanish Counsellor en- 
glished, and Shore's Wife eternized, shall everlastingly testify what 
you are. Go forward in maturity, as ye have begun in pregnancy, 
and behold Parthenopcsus, the son of the brave Meleager, Homer 
himself; and of the swift Atalanta, Calliope herself: be thou Barnabe, 
the gallant poet, like Spenser ; or the valiant soldier, like Basker- 
ville ; and ever remember thy French service under the brave Earl 
of Essex. Be thou John, the many-tongued linguist, like Andrews, 
or the curious intelligencer, like Bodley ; and never forget thy 
Netherlandish train under him that taught the Prince of Navarre, 
now the valorous King of France. Be thou Antony, the flowing 
orator, like Dove, or the skilful herald, like Clarentius ; and ever 
remember thy Portugal voyage under Don Antonio. The begin- 
ning of virtuous proceedings is the one half of honourable actions. 
Be yourselves in hope, and what yourselves desire in effect, and I 
have attained some portion of my request. For you cannot wish 
so exceeding well unto me, but I am as ready with tongue and mind 



to wish a great deal better unto you, and to reacquite you with a 
large usury of most affectionate prayers, recommending you to the 
divine gifts and gracious blessings of heaven. 

May it please the favourable reader to vouchsafe me the cour- 
tesy of his patience, until he hath thoroughly perused the whole 
discourse at his hours of leisure (for such scribblings are hardly 
worth the vacantest hours) : I am not to importune him any farther, 
but would be glad he might find the whole less tedious in the end, 
than some parts in the beginning or midst; or at least that one 
piece might help to furnish out amends for another. And so taking 
my leave with the kindest farewel of a most thankful mind, I desist 
from wearying him with a tedious preface, whom I am likely to 
tire with so many superfluous discourses. Howbeit, might it happily 
please the sweetest intercessor to ensweeten the bitterest gall of 
spite, and to encalm the roughest tempest of rage, I could cordially 
wish that Nash's S. Fame might be the period of my invectives ; 
and the excellent gentlewoman my patroness, or rather championess 
in this quarrel, is meeter by nature, and fitter by nurture, to be 
an enchanting angel with her white quill, than a tormenting fury 
with her black ink. It remaineth at the election of one whom 
God endue with more discretion. 

The inviolable friend of his entire friends, 

At London, 

this 16th of July, 15Q3. 



MUSES, may a woman poor, and blind, 
A lion-dragon, or a bull-bear bind ? 
Is't possible for puling wench to tame 
The furibundall Champion of Fame ? 
He brandisheth the whirlwind in his mouth, 
And thunderbolteth foe-confounding shot : 

Where such a bombard-goblin, north or south, 

With drad pen-powder, and the conquerous pot ? 

Silly it is that I can sing or say : 

And shall I venture such a blustrous fray ? 

Hazard not, panting quill ! thy aspen self: 

He'll murder thy conceit, and brain thy brain. 

Spare me, O super-domineering elf! 

And most railipotent for ever reign. 

Si tibi vis ipsi parcere, parce mihi. 

Her Counter Sonnet, or Correction of her own Preamble. 

SCORN, frump the meacock verse, that dares not sing, 
Drooping, so like a flagging flower in rain : 
Where doth the Urany, or Fury ring, 
That shall enfraight my stomach with disdain ? 
Shall friend put up such braggardous affronts ? 
Are milksop Muses such whiteliver'd tronts ? 

Shall boy the gibbet be of writers all, 
And none hang up the gibbet on the wall ? 
If dreary hobbling rhyme heart-broken be, 
And quake for dread of Banter's scarecrow press 
Shrew prose, thy pluckcrow implements address, 
And pay the hangman pen his double fee. 
Be Spite a Sprite, a termagant, a bug : 
Truth fears no ruth, and can the great dev'l tug. 
Ultrix accinctajlagello. 

Her old Comedy, newly entitled. 

MY prose is resolute, as Bevis' sword : 
March rampant beast in formidable hide : 
Supererogation Squire on cockhorse ride : 
Zeal shapes an answer to the bloodiest word. 
If nothing can the booted soldier tame, 
Nor rhyme, nor prose, nor honesty, nor shame : 
But Swash will still his trumpery advance, 
I'll lead the gagtooth'd fop a new-found dance. 
Dear hours were ever cheap to piddling me : 
I knew a glorious and braving knight, 
That would be deem'd a truculental wight : 
Of him I scrawl'd a doughty comedy. 
Sir Bombarduccio was his cruel name : 
But Gnasharduccio the sole brute of Fame. 


SEE, how he brays and fumes at me, poor lass, 
That must immortalise the killcow ass. 


To the right worshipful, his especial dear friend, M. Gabriell Harvey, 

Doctor of Law. 

|WEET M. Doctor Harvey, (for I cannot entitle you 
with an epithet of less value than that which the 
Grecian and Roman orators ascribe to Theophras- 
tus, in respect of so many your excellent labours, 
garnished with the garland of matchless Oratory) : if 
at any time either the most earnest persuasion of a dear friend, and 
unusually most dear and constant, adjured thereunto by the sin- 
gular virtue of your most praise-worthy and unmatchable wit : or 
the wonderful admiration of your peerless conceit, embraved with 
so many gorgeous ornaments of divine Rhetoric : or the doubtless 
successive benefit thereof, devoted to the glory of our English 
eloquence, and our vulgar Tuscanism (if I may so term it) may 
work any plausible or respective motions with you, to beautify and 
enrich our age with those most praise-moving works, full of gal- 
lantest discourse and reason, which I understand by some assured 
intelligence be now glowing upon the anvil, ready to receive the 
right artificial form of divinest workmanship : then let, I beseech 
you, nay, by all our mutual friendships I conjure you, (love and 
admiration of them arming me with the placard of farther confi- 
dence) those, and other your incomparable writings, speedily, or 
rather presently, shew themselves in the shining light of the sun. 


That by this publication of so rare and rich discourses, our En- 
glish ravens, the spiteful enemies to all birds of more beautiful wing, 
and more harmonious note than themselves, may shroud themselves 
in their nests of basest obscurity, and keep hospitality with bats 
and owls, fit consorts for such vile carrions. Good sir, arise, and 
confound those viperous critical monsters, and those prophane 
atheists of our commonwealth, which endeavour with their mutinous 
and serpentine hissing, like geese, not to arm the senators and 
orators of Rome, but to daunt, astonish, and if it were possible, to 
overthrow them. And sithence the very thunder-lightning of your 
admirable eloquence is sufficiently available to strike them with a 
lame palsy of tongue, (if they be not already smitten with a sense- 
less apoplexy in head, which may easily ensue such contagious ca- 
tharrs and rheums, as I am privy some of them have been grievously 
diseased withal) miss not, but hit them surely home, as they de- 
serve with Supererogation. You have been reputed evermore, 
since first I heard of you in Oxford, and elsewhere, to have been 
as much given to favour, commend, and frequent such as were ap- 
proved, or toward in learning, wit, kind behaviour, or any good 
quality, as may be required in any man of your demerit : an un- 
doubted sign how much you loathe invectives or any needless con- 
tentions. I would (as many your affectionate friends would) it 
had been your fortune to have encountered some other Paranymphs, 
than such as you are now to discipline : most unwillingly, I per- 
ceive, but most necessarily, and not without especial consideration, 
being so manifestly urged, and grossly provoked to defend your- 
self. But you have ere now been acquainted with patience per- 
force : and I hope the most desperate swasher of them will one day 
learn to shew himself honester or wiser. And thus recommending 
your sweet endeavours, with your graver studies, to the highest 
treasury of heavenly Muses, I right heartily take my leave with a 
Sonnet of that Muse that honoureth the Urany ofduBartas, and 


yourself: of Du Bartas elsewhere; here of him, whose excellent 
pages of the French king, the Scottish king, the brave Monsieur 
de la Nbe, the aforesaid Lord du Bartas, Sir Philip Sidney, and 
sundry other worthy personages, deserve immortal commendation. 
I thank him very heartily, that imparted unto me those fewe sheets; 
and if all be like them, truly all is passing notable and right singular. 


THOSE learned orators, Rome's ancient sages, 
Persuasion's pith, directors of affection, 
The mind's chief counsel, rhetoric's perfection, 
The pleasant balms of peace, war's fierce outrages : 

Sweet Grecian prophets, whose smooth Muse assuages 
The Furies' powerful wrath, poison's infection : 
Philosophers, (by causes due connexion, 
Match'd with the effects of Nature) future ages 

Embraving with rich documents of Art : 

The wisest statesmen of calm commonweals : 

The learned general councils, which impart 

Divinest laws, whose wholesome physic heals 

Both church and laity: all in one behold 

Ennobled arts, as precious stones in gold. 

Your most affectionate, 

From my lodging in Holborn, BARNABE BARNES. 

this of June, 15Q3. 

Having perused my former sonnet, if it may please you, sir, 
to do as much for your dear friends Parthenophil and Parthenophe, 
they shall have the desired fruit of their short exercise, and will 
rest beholding to your courteous acceptance; which they would 
be glad to reacquite in the lovingest manner they may, and so 
most affectionately recommend themselves unto your good self, 



whose unblemished fame they will evermore maintain with the best 
blood of their hearts, tongues, and pens. We will not say how 
much we long to see the whole praises of your two notorious ene- 
mies, the Ass and the Fox. 


Nash, or the confuting Gentleman. 

THE Muse's scorn; the courtier's laughing-stock; 

The country's coxcomb ; printer's proper new; 

The city's leprosy ; the pander's stew ; 

Virtue's disdain ; Honesty's adverse rock ; 
Envy's vile champion ; Slander's stumbling-block. 

Grand orator of coney-catchers crew ; 

Base broaching tapster of reports untrue ; 

Our modern viper, and our country's mock ; 
True valour's cancer-worm, sweet learning's rust. 

Where shall I find meet colours and fit words 

For such a counterfeit and worthless matter? 
Him whom thou railest on at thine own lust, 

Sith Bodine and sweet Sidney did not flatter, 

His invective thee too much grace affords. 

Harvey, or the sweet Doctor. 

SIDNEY, sweet cygnet, pride of Thamesis ; 

Apollo's laurel ; Mars's proud prowess ; 
BODINE, register of realms happiness, 

Which Italy's and France's wonder is : 
HATCHER, with silence whom I may not miss : 

Nor LEWEN, rhetoric's richest noblesse : 


Nor WILSON, whose discretion did redress 

Our English barbarism ; adjoin to this 
Divinest moral SPENSER: let these speak 

By their sweet letters, which do best unfold 
HARVEY'S deserved praise : since my Muse weak 

Cannot relate so much as hath been told 
By these forenam'd : then vain it were to bring 

New feather to his Fame's swift-feather'd wing. 






OURTEOUS Gentlemen, it seemed good to M. 
Doctor Harvey, for brevity sake, and because he 
liked not over-long preambles, or postambles to 
short discourses, to omit the commendatory Letters 
and Sonnets of M. Thorius, M. Chewt, and divers 
other his affectionate friends of London and both the Universities, 
which nevertheless are reserved to be prefixed, inserted, or an- 
nexed, either in his Defensive Letters, enlarged with certain new 
epistles of more special note, or in his Discourses of Nash's S. Fame, 
already finished, and presently to be published, as these shall like 
their entertainment; of whose favourable and plausible welcome 
divers learned and fine wits have presumed the best. Howbeit 
finally it was thought not amiss, upon conference with some his 
advised acquaintance, to make choice of some two or three of the 
reasonablest and temperatest Sonnets, but for variety, and to avoid 
tediousness in the entrance, rather to be annexed in the end than 
prefixed in the beginning of the present Discourses; one of the 
foresaid M. Thorius, another of M. Chewt, and the third of a 
learned French gentleman, Monsieur Fregeuill Gautius, who hath 


published some weighty treatises, as well politic as religious, both 
in Latin and French, and hath acquainted M. Doctor Harvey with 
certain most profitable mathematical devises of his own invention. 
The residue is not added by me, but annexed by the author him- 
self, whom I humbly recommend to your courteous censure, and 
so rest from overtroubling you with my unpolished lines. 


WAS ever unwilling to undertake any enterprise 
that was unmeet for me, or to play any part, 
either in earnest, or in jest, that might ill beseem 
me ; and never more unwilling than at this instant, 

= when I must needs do it, or put something in 

hazard, that I would be loath to commit to the courtesy of adven- 
ture. Not because my confuters' swords or my enemies' daggers 
carry any credit with the wise; or because my letters fear any dis- 
credit with the honest ; or because I cannot abide to be confuted, 
that daily confute myself, and condemn every mine own default with 
rigour : but because silence may seem suspicious to many ; patience 
contemptible to some ; a good mind, a bad heart to those that value 
all by courage ; a known forbearer of libellers, a continual bearer 
of coals ; and there is no end of abuses upon abuses, of injuries 
upon injuries, of contempt upon contempt, where presumptuous 
Impudency and odious Slander, the two errantest vagabonds in the 
world, may safe conduct themselves, and frankly pass uncontrolled. 
Yet were that either all, or the worst of all, I could still vow 
silence in brawls, and would still profess patience in wrongs; (I hate 
brawls with my heart, and can turn over a volume of wrongs with a 
wet finger) but some cunning men, that carry honey in their mouths, 
and gall in their hearts, not so sweet in the premises, as bitter in 


the conclusion, can smoothly and finely descant upon the least 
advantage, however so injurious; and certain pretty experiences, 
by way of sensible instruction, have taught some, that Malice was 
never such an hypocrite as now; and the world never such a scog- 
gin as now; and the devil never such a knave as now; and what a 
desperate dissoluteness were it in him, that regardeth his good 
name, to abandon himself, or to relinquish the dearest thing in 
this life, (I know no dearer thing than honest credit) to the favour 
of envy, or to the discretion of fortune. 

Gentlemen, he is hardly bestead for a patron, that relieth on 
the tuition of envy, or reposeth his affiance in the protection of 
fortune : and he must not take it unkindly to be forsaken of other 
by the way, that forsaketh himself in the way. Even he that loveth 
not to be his own defender, much less his own praiser (do him no 
wrong, my masters, though ye do him no right), yet hateth to be 
his own traitor ; and hath reason to experiment some round con- 
clusions before he offer his throat to the blade of villany, or his 
forehead to the brand of defamation. And although he be the 
subject of his own contempt, and the argument of his own satires 
(surely no man less doteth upon himself, or more severely cen- 
sureth his own imperfections) : yet he in some respects disdaineth 
to be ruled by the abjects of the world : whose dispraise in some age 
were a commendation, and whose praise an invective : but this is a 
quaint world, and needeth no April showers to furnish May games. 

I protest I have these many years, not in pride, but in judg- 
ment, scorned to appear in the rank of this scribbling generation ; 
and could not have been hired with a great fee to publish any 
pamphlet of whatsoever nature in my own name, had I not been 
intolerably provoked, first by one rakehell, and now by another, 
the two impudentest mates that ever haunted the press; (some have 
called them knaves in gross, I have found them fools in retail :) but 
when it came to this desperate point, that 1 must needs either be 


a base writer, or a vile ass in print, the less of the two evils was 
to be chosen : I was compelled rather to alter my resolution for a 
time than to prejudice myself for ever. They that list may feed 
at the manger with the sons of the mule : it is another table phi- 
losophy that I fancy. 

Howbeit, amongst all the misfortunes that ever happened unto 
me, I account it my greatest affliction that I am constrained to busy 
my pen without ground or substance of discourse meet for an active 
and industrious world.. Every man hath his crosses in one accident 
or other : but I know not a grievouser persecution than a base em- 
ployment of precious time necessarily enforced. Other crosses may 
someway edify : this is a plague without remedy ; a torment without 
end; a hell without redemption. As in the course of my study, it 
was always my reckoning; he loseth nothing, whatsoever he loseth, 
that gaineth time : so in the task of my writing, or other exercise, 
it is my account, he gaineth nothing, whatsoever he gaineth, that 
loseth time. A good matter, delivered in good manner, winneth 
some estimation with good minds ; but no manner sufficient to 
countenance a contemptible theme: and a rascal subject abaseth 
any form ; or what hath drowned the memory of the trimmest and 
daintiest trifles that fine conceit hath devised ? 

Were it mine own election, I might worthily incur many re- 
proofs, and justly impute them to my simple choice ; but necessity 
hath as little free will as law, and compelleth like a tyrant where it 
cannot persuade like an orator, or advise like a counsellor. Any 
virtue, an honourable commonplace, and a flourishing branch of an 
heavenly tree ; politic and militar affairs, the worthiest matters of 
consultation, and the two Herculean pillars of noble states; the 
private lives of excellent personages in sundry courses, and the 
public actions of puissant nations in sundry governments, shining 
mirrors of notable use for the present time and future ages. Were 
it at my appointment to dispose freely of mine own hours, O, how 


willingly and cheerfully could I spend the freshest and dearest part 
of my life in such arguments of valour ! Learning is a goodly and 
gallant creature in many parts ; and divers members of that beau- 
tiful body upbraid the most exquisite pen and most curious pencil 
of insufficiency : no diligence too much, where no labour enough ; 
the fruitfullest sciences require painfullest industry, and some lively 
principles would be touched to the quick : whatsoever book-case 
or school-point is found by experience to be essential and practi- 
cable in the world, deserveth to be discussed with sharp invention 
and sound judgment. 

I could yet take pleasure and profit in canvassing some pro- 
blems of natural philosophy, of the mathematics, of geography, 
and hydrography, of other commodious experiments fit to advance 
many valourous actions ; and I would upon mine own charges 
travel into any part of Europe to hear some pregnant paradoxes, 
and certain singular questions in the highest professions of learn- 
ing, in physic, in law, in divinity, effectually and thoroughly dis- 
puted pro and contra; and would think my travel as advantage- 
ously bestowed to some purposes of importance as they that have 
adventurously discovered new-found lands, or bravely surprised 

What conferences or disputations, what parliaments or councils 
like those that deliberate upon the best government of common- 
wealths, and the best discipline of churches the double anchor 
of the mighty ship, and the two great luminaries of the world? 
Other extravagant discourses not material, or quarrelous conten- 
tions not available, are but wasting of wind, or blotting of paper. 
What should exercise or study burn the sun or the candle in vain ? 
or what should I do against myself in speaking for myself, if out- 
ward respects did not inwardly gripe, and a present exigence lay 
violent hands upon me? Though extremity be powerable, yet an 
unwilling will is excusable. Philosophers and lawyers can best 


argue the case of involuntary acts ; but what so forcible as com- 
pulsion, or so pardonable as a passive action? 

Blame him not, or blame him gently, that would be a little 
loath to be dieted at the rack of the old ass, or to be bitten of the 
young dog. He is no party in the cause, that pleadeth thus against 
Aristogiton. Sweet gentlemen, imagine it to be a speech addressed 
unto yourselves. " Peradventure the viper did never bite any of 
you, and the Gods forbid it should ever bite you ; but when you 
espy any such pernicious creature, you presently dispatch it : in 
like manner, when you behold a sycophant, and a man of a viper- 
ous nature, look not till he hath bitten some of you, but so soon as 
he starteth up, pull him down." And again, in another place of 
the same sententious and politic Oration : " He that maintaineth a 
sycophant, is by nature and kind an enemy of the good ; unless 
somebody imagine that the seed and roo of a naughty sycophant 
ought to remain in the city, as it were for store or good husbandry/' 
Demosthenes was as deeply wise as highly eloquent, and hath many 
such notable sentences, as it were caveats or provisoes against the 
dangerous enemies of that flourishing city, and especially against 
calumniators, whose viperous sting he could by no means avoid : 
albeit, otherwise such an orator, as could allure hearts with persua- 
sion, or conjure minds with astonishment. 

I would no other city loved figs, or must another city of ne- 
cessity love figs, because it is grown another Athens, a mother of 
eloquence, a nurse of learning, a grandam of valour, a seat of 
honour, and, as Aristotle termed Athens, a garden of Alcinous, 
wherein one fruit ripeneth upon another, one pear upon another, 
one grape upon another, and one fig upon another. The Sycophant 
be his own interpreter; and if he may be licensed, or permitted to 
be his own carver too, much good may it do him, and sweet diges- 
tion give him joy of his dainty fig. I must have a little care of one 
that cannot easily brook unreasonable sauciness; and would be 



loath to see the garden of Alcinous made the garden of Greene, or 

It was wont to be said, by way of proverb, He that will be 
made a sheep shall find wolves enough ; but forsooth this exceeding 
wise world is a great ass-maker ; and he that will suffer himself to 
be proclaimed an ass in print shall be sure never to want load and 
load enough. Who so ready to call her neighbour a scold as the 
rankest scold of the parish ; or who so forward to accuse, to de- 
base, to revile, to crow-tread another, as the arrantest fellow in a 
country? Let his own mouth be his passport, or his own pen his 
warrant : and who so lewd as his greatest adversary, Modesty ; or 
so honest as his dearest friend, Villany ; or so learned as his learned- 
est counsel, Vanity ; or so wise as his profoundest author, young 
Apuleius? What familiar spirit of the air or fire, like the glib and 
nimble wit of young Apuleius ? Or where is the eloquence that 
should describe particular perfections of young Apuleius ? Pru- 
dence may borrow discretion; Logic, arguments ; Rhetoric, colours; 
Phantasy, conceits ; steel, an edge ; and gold, a lustre of young 
Apuleius ! 

O the rare and quaint inventions ! O the gallant and gorgeous 
elocution ! O the brave and admirable amplifications ! O the arti- 
ficial and fine extenuations ! O the lively portraitures of egregious 
praises and dispraises ! O the cunning and strange mingle-mangles ! 
O the pithy jests and marvellous girds of young Apuleius ; the very 
prodigality of art and nature ! What greater impossibility than to 
decypher the high and mighty style of young Apuleius, without a 
liberal portion of the same elevate spirit? Happy the old father that 
begat, and thrice happy the sweet Muses that suckled and fostered 
young Apuleius. Till Admiration hath found out a smoother and 
tricksier quill for the purpose, Desire must be content to leave the 
supple and tidy constitution of his omnisufticient wit undisplayed. 
Only it becometh gentle minds to yield themselves thankful, and 


to tender their bounden duty to that inestimable pearl of eloquence, 
for this precious glimpse of his incomprehensible valour : one short 
maxim, but more worth, than all the axioms of Aristotle, or the 
ideas of Plato, or the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs 
of Justinian. 

He knoweth not to manage his pen, that was not born 
with an ass in his mouth, a fool in his throat, and a knave in his 
whole body. Simple men may write against other, or plead for 
themselves ; but they cannot confute cuttingly, like a huckster of 
Queenhithe, or bellow lustily like the foreman of the herd. I go 
not about to discover an ass in an ox's hide ; he needeth no other 
to pull him by the famous ears that is so hasty to descry, and so 
busy to bestir his wisest parts : but what a notable ass indeed was 
1 that sought the wings of a mounting Pegasus or a stying Phenix, 
where I found the head and feet of a braying creature. Some pro- 
mises are desperate debts ; and many threatenings empty clouds ; 
or rather armies fighting in the air, terrible visions. Simplicity 
cannot double, and plain dealing will not dissemble. I look either 
for a fine witted man, as quick as quicksilver, that with a nimble 
dexterity of lively conceit and exquisite secretaryship, would out- 
run me many hundred miles in the course of his dainty devices ; 
a delicate minion, or some terrible bombarder of terms, as wild as 
wildfire, that at the first flash of his fury would leave me thunder- 
stricken upon the ground, or at the last volley of his outrage would 
batter me to dust and ashes. A redoubted adversary! But the 
trim silk-worm I looked for (as it were in a proper contempt of 
common fineness) proveth but a silly glow-worm ; and the dreadful 
engineer of phrases, instead of thunder-bolts, shooteth nothing but 
dog-bolts, and cat-bolts, and the homeliest bolts of rude folly. 
Such arrant confuting stuff, as never print saw compiled together, 
till Master Villany became an author, and Sir Nash a gentleman. 

Printers, take heed how ye play the heralds; some lusty gentle- 


men of the maker, can no sooner bare a goose-quill, or a woodcock's 
feather in their shield, but they are like the renowned Lobbelinus, 
when he had gotten a new coat ; and take upon them, without pity 
or mercy, like the only lords of the field. If ever esquire raved 
with conceit of his new arms, it is D outer's gentleman, that mightily 
despiseth whatsoever he beholdeth from the high turret of his crest, 
and cranckly spitteth upon the heads of some, that were not greatly 
acquainted with such familiar entertainment. His best friend be 
his judge ; and I appeal to my worst enemy, whether he ever read 
a more pestilent example of prostituted impudency ? Were he not 
a kinsman of the foresaid viper, a dog in malice, a calf in wit, an 
ox in learning, and an ass in discretion, (time shall chronicle him 
as he is,) was it possible that any man should have bestowed 
some broad and loud terms as he hath done ? Who could abide 
it, without actual revenge, but he, that entertaineth spite with a 
smile, maketh a pastime of strange news, turneth choler into san- 
guine, vinegar into wine, vexation into sport, and hath a salve for 
a greater sore? 

Come, young Sophisters, you that affect a railing in your dis- 
putations, and with a clamorous hoot would set the philosophy 
schools non plus; come, old cutters, you that use to make doughty 
frays in the streets, and would hack it terribly ; come, he and she- 
scolds, you that love to plead it out invincibly at the bar of the 
dunghill, and will rather lose your lives than the last word ; come, 
busy commotiouers, you that carry a world of quarrelous wits and 
mutinous tongues in your heads ; come, most redoubted Momus, 
you that will sternly keep heaven and earth in awe ; come, running 
heads and giddy pens of all humours, you that dance attendance 
upon oddest fashions, and learn a perfect method to pass other and 
to excel yourselves, such a new devised model as never saw sun 
before, and may make the gayest mould of antiquity to blush ! Old 
Archilochus and Theon were but botchers in their railing faculty ; 


Stesichorus but a gross bungler ; Aristarchus but a curious and nice 
fool; Aristophanes and Lucian but merry jesters; Ibis against 
Ovid, Mevius against Horace, Carbilius Pictor against Virgil, La- 
vinius against Terence, Crateva against Euripides, Zoilus against 
Homer, but rank sowters. Sallust did but dally with Tully ; De- 
mades but toy with Demosthenes ; Pericles but sport with Thucy- 
dides, and so forth. For examples are infinite; and no exercise 
more ancient than Iambics amongst poets, invectives amongst ora- 
tors, confutations amongst philosophers, satires amongst carpers, 
libels amongst factioners, pasquils amongst malcontents, and quar- 
rels amongst all. 

But the old age was an infant in wit, and a grammar scholar in 
art. Lucian's Rhetor, never so bravely furnished, will be heard 
with an echo ; Julian will rattle Christendom ; Arius will shake the 
church; Machiavel will yerk the commonwealth; Unico Aretino 
will scourge princes ; and here is a lusty lad of the castle that will 
bind bears, and ride golden asses to death. Were the pith of courage 
lost, it might be found in his pen ; or were the marrow of conceit to 
seek, where should wit look for wit but in his ink-bottle?. Art was 
a dunce, till he was a writer ; and the quickest confuter a drowsy 
dreamer till he put a life into the dead quill, and a fly into the 
wooden box of forlorn Pandora. A point for the satirist, whose 
conceit is not a ruffian in folio ; and a fig for the confuter, that is. 
not a swashbuckler with his pen. 

Old whimwhams have plodded on long enough, fresh invention 
from the tap must have his frisks, and his careers another while ; 
and what comparable to this spout of yarking eloquence ? Give 
me the fellow that is as Peerless as Pennyless; and can oppose all 
the libraries in Paul's Churchyard with one wonderful work of Su- 
pererogation ; such an unmatchable piece of learning, as no books 
can countervail but his own, the only records of the singularities of 
this age. Did I speak at a venture, I might deceive, and be de- 


ceived ; but Avhere experience is a witness, and judgment the judge, 
I hope the error will not be unreasonably great. 

There was a time, when I floated in a sea of encountering 
waves, and devoured many famous confutations with an eager and 
insatiable appetite, especially Aristotle against Plato, and the old 
philosophers ; divers excellent Platonists, endued with rare and di- 
vine wits, (of whom elsewhere at large,) Justinus Martyr, Philo- 
ponus, Valla, Vives, Ramus, against Aristotle. Oh, but the great 
master of the schools, and high chancellor of universities, could 
not want pregnant defence. Perionius, Gallandius, Carpentarius, 
Sceggius, Lieblerus against Ramus. What ! hath the royal pro- 
fessor of eloquence and philosophy no favourites? Talaeus, Ossatus, 
Freigius, Minos, Rodingus, Scribonius, for Ramus against them ; and 
so forth, in that hot contradictory course of logic and philosophy. 
But alas ! silly men, simple Aristotle, more simple Ramus, most 
simple the rest, either ye never knew what a sharp-edged and 
cutting confutation meant, or the date of your stale oppositions is 
expired, and a New-found-land of confuting commodities discovered 
by this brave Columbus of terms, and this only merchant-venturer 
of quarrels, that detecteth new Indies of invention, and hath the 
winds of ./Bolus at commandment ! Happy, you flourishing youths, 
that follow his incomparable learned steps ; and unhappy we old 
dunces, that wanted such a worthy precedent of all nimble and 
lively dexterities. 

What should I appeal infinite other to their perpetual shame, 
or summon such and such to their foul disgrace ? Erasmus in 
Latin, and Sir Thomas More in English, were supposed fine and 
pleasant confuters in their time, and were accordingly embraced 
of the forwardest and trimmest wits ; but, alack, how unlike this 
dainty minion ! Agrippa was reputed a giant in confutation, a 
demi-god in omnisufficiency of knowledge, a devil in the practice of 
horrible arts : oh, but Agrippa Avas an urchin, Copernicus a shrimp, 


Cardan a puppy, Scaliger a baby, Paracelsus a scab, Erastus a 
patch, Sigonius a toy, Cuiacius a bauble to this termagant; that 
fighteth not with simple words, but with double swords ; not with 
the trickling water of Helicon, but with piercing aquafortis ; not 
with the sorry powder of experience, but with terrible gunpowder; 
not with the small shot of contention, but with the main ordnance 
of fury. 

For brevity, I over-skip many notable men and valorous con- 
futers in their several veins ; had not affection otherwhiles swinged 
their reason, where reason should have swayed their affection. But 
partiality was ever the busiest actor, and passion the hottest con- 
futer, whatsoever plausible cause otherwise pretended ; and he is 
rather to be esteemed an angel than a man, or a man of heaven, 
not of earth, that tendereth integrity in his heart, equity in his 
tongue, and reason in his pen. Flesh and blood are frail creatures 
and partial discoursers; but he approacheth nearest unto God, and 
yieldeth sweetest fruit of a divine disposition, that is not transported 
with wrath or any blind passion, but guided with clear and pure 
reason, the sovereign principle of sound proceeding. It is not the 
affirmative or negative of the writer, but the truth of the matter 
written, that carrieth meat in the mouth, and victory in the hand. 
There is nothing so exceeding foolish, but hath been defended by 
some wise man ; nor any thing so passing wise, but hath been con- 
futed by some fool. Man's will, no safe rule, as Aristotle saith : 
good Homer sometime sleepeth ; S. Augustine was not ashamed of 
his retractions ; S. Barnard saw not all things ; and the best chart 
may eftsoons overthrow. He that taketh a confutation in hand, 
must bring the standard of judgment with him, and make wisdom 
the moderation of wit. But I might as well have overpassed the 
censure as the persons ; and I have to do with a party that valueth 
both alike, and can fancy no author but his own fancy. It is neither 
reason nor rhyme, nor wit, nor art, nor any imitation, that he re- 


gardeth ; he hath builded towers of Supererogation in his own head, 
and they must stand whosoever fall. 

Howbeit, I cannot overslip some without manifest injury, 
that deserve to have their names enrolled in the first rank of valiant 
confuters ; worthy men, but subject to imperfections, to error, to 
mutual reproof, some more, some less, as the manner is. Harding 
and Jewell were our Eschines and Demosthenes ; and scarcely any 
language in the Christian world hath afforded a pair of adversaries 
equivalent to Harding and Jewell, two thundering and lightning 
orators in divinity, but now at last infinitely overmatched by this 
hideous thunderbolt in humanity, that hath the only right terms 
invective, and triumpheth over all the spirits of contradiction. 
You, that have read Luther against the Pope ; Sadolet, Longolius, 
Omphalius, Osorius, against Luther; Calvin against Sadolet; Me- 
lancthon against Longolius ; Sturmius against Omphalius ; Haddon 
against Osorius ; Baldwin against Calvin ; Beza against Baldwin ; 
Erastus against Beza; Travel's against Erastus; Sutcliff against 
Travers, and so forth ; (for there is no end of endless controversies : 
nor Bellarmine shall ever satisfy the Protestants ; nor Whittaker 
content the Papists ; nor Bancroft appease the Precisians ; nor any 
reason pacify affection ; nor any authority resolve obstinacy) : you 
that have most diligently read these, and these and sundry other, 
reputed excellent in their kinds, cast them all away, and read him 
alone ; that can school them all in their terms invective, and teach- 
eth a new found art of confuting, his all-only art. Martin himself 
but a meacock, and Pap-hatchet himself but a milk-sop to him, 
that inditeth Avith a pen of fury and the ink of vengeance, and hath 
cart loads of paper-shot and chain-shot at commandment. 

Tush ; no man can blazon his arms but himself. Behold the 
mighty champion, the double sword-bearer, the redoubtable fighter 
with both hands, that hath robbed William Conqueror of his surname, 
and in the very first page of his strange news choppeth off the head 


of four letters at a blow. He it is that hath it rightly in him in- 

O v 

deed, and can roundly do the feat, with a witness. Why, man, he 
is worth a thousand of these piddling and dribbling confuters, that 
sit all day buzzing upon a blunt point or two ; and with much ado 
drizzle out as many sentences in a week as he will pour down in an 

It is not long since the goodliest graces of the most noble 
commonwealths upon earth, eloquence in speech, and civility in 
manners, arrived in these remote parts of the world : it was a happy 
revolution of the heavens, and worthy to be chronicled in an English 
Livy, when Tiberis flowed into the Thames ; Athens removed to 
London ; pure Italy and fine Greece planted themselves in rich 
England ; Apollo, with his delicate troop of Muses, forsook his old 
mountains and rivers, and frequented a new Parnassus and another 
Helicon, nothing inferior to the old, when they were most solemnly 
haunted of divine wits, that taught rhetoric to speak with applause, 
and poetry to sing with admiration. But even since that flourish- 
ing transplantation of the daintiest and sweetest learning that 
humanity ever tasted, Art did but spring in such as Sir John Cheeke 
and M. Ascham; and wit but in such as Sir Philip Sidney and M. 
Spenser, which were but the violets of March or the primroses of 
May ; till the one began to sprout in M. ROBERT GREENE, as in a 
sweating imp of the evergreen laurel ; the other to blossom in M. 
PIERCE PENNILESS, as in the rich garden of poor Adonis ; both to 
grow to perfection in M. THOMAS NASH, whose prime is a harvest, 
whose art a mystery, whose wit a miracle, whose style the only life 
of the press, and the very heart-blood of the grape. There was a 
kind of smooth, and cleanly, and neat, and fine elegancy before, 
(proper men, handsome gifts) ; but alack, nothing lively and 
mighty, like the brave vino de monte, till his frisking pen began to 
play the sprite of the buttery, and to teach his mother-tongue such 
lusty gambols, as may make the gallantest French, Italian, or 


Spanish galliards to blush, for extreme shame of their ideot sim- 

The difference of wits is exceeding strange, and almost in- 
credible. Good Lord, how may one man pass a thousand, and 
a thousand not compare with one? Art may give out precepts 
and directories in communi forma, but it is super-excellent wit, that 
is the mother-pearl of precious invention, and the golden mine of 
gorgeous elocution. Nay, it is a certain pregnant and lively thing 
without name, but a quaint mystery of mounting conceit, as it were 
a knack of dexterity, or the nippitaty of the nappiest grape, that 
infinitely surpasseth all the invention and elocution in the world ; 
and will bung Demosthenes' own mouth, with new fangled figures 
of the right stamp, maugre all the thundering and lightning periods 
of his eloquentest orations, forlorn creatures. I have had some 
pretty trial of the finest Tuscanism in grain ; and have curiously 
observed the cunningest experiments, and bravest compliments 
of aspiring emulation, but must give the bell of singularity to 
the humorous wit, and the garland of victory to the domineering 

I come not yet to the praise of the old ass ; it is young Apu- 
leius that feedeth upon this glory ; and having inclosed these rank 
commons to the proper use of himself and the capricious flock, 
adopteth whom he listeth without exception ; as Alexander the 
Great had a huge intention to have all men his subjects, and all his 
subjects called Alexanders. It Avas strange news for some to be so 
assified ; and a work of Supererogation for him, so bountifully to 
vouchsafe his golden name ; the appropriate cognisance of his noble 

Good night, poor rhetoric of sorry books ; adieu, good old 
humanity : gentle arts and liberal sciences content yourselves : 
Farewell, my dear mothers, sometime flourishing universities ; some 
that have long continued your sons in nature, your apprentices in 


arts, your servants in exercise, your lovers in affection, and your 
vassals in duty, must either take their leaves of the sweetest friends, 
or become the slaves of that domineering eloquence, that knoweth 
no art but the cutting art, nor acknowledgeth any school but the 
courtesan school. The rest is pure natural, or wonderous super- 
natural. Would it were not an infectious bane, or an incroaching 
pock. Let me not be mistaken by sinister construction, that 
wresteth and wriggleth every syllable to the worst. I have no re- 
ference to myself, but to my superiors, by incomparable degrees. 
To be a Ciceronian, is a flouting stock : poor Homer, a woful wight, 
may put his finger in a hole, or in his blind eye : the excellentest 
histories, and worthiest chronicles, (inestimable monuments of wis- 
dom and valour,) what but stale antiques ? the flowers and fruits of 
delicate humanity, that were wont to be daintily and tenderly con- 
served, now preserved with dust, as it were with sugar, and with 
hoar, as it were with honey. That frisking wine, and that lively 
knack in the right capricious vein, the only book that holdeth out 
with a countenance ; and will be heard when worm-tongued orators, 
dust-footed poets, and weatherwise historians, shall not be allowed 
a word to cast at a dog. 

There is a fatal period of whatsoever we term flourishing ; the 
world runneth on wheels, and there must be a vent for all things. 
The Ciceronian may sleep, till the Scogginist hath played his part ; 
one sure Coney-catcher worth twenty philosophers ; a phantastical 
rhymester more vendible than the notablest mathematician ; no pro- 
fession to the faculty of railing ; all harsh or obscure that tickleth 
not idle phantasies with wanton dalliance or ruffianly jests ; Robin 
Good-fellow the meetest author of Robin Hood's library ; the less 
of Cambridge or Oxford, the fitter to compile works of Supereroga- 
tion; and we, that were simply trained after the Athenian and 
Roman guise, must be content to make room for roisters, that 
know their place, and will take it. Titles and terms are but words 


of course ; the right fellow, that beareth a brain, can knock twenty 
titles on the head at a stroke, and with a juggling shift of that 
same invincible knack, defend himself manfully at the paper bar. 

Though I be not greatly employed, yet my leisure will scarcely 
serve to moralize fables of bears, apes, and foxes ; (some men can 
give a shrewd guess at a courtly allegory ;) but where lords in ex- 
press terms are magnifically contemned, doctors in the same style 
may be courageously confuted. Liberty of tongue and pen is no 
bondman ; nippitaty will not be tied to a post ; there is a cap of 
maintenance called impudency ; and what say to him, that in a 
superabundance of that same odd capricious humour, findeth no 
such want in England as of an Aretine, that might strip these golden 
asses out of their gay trappings, and after he had ridden them to 
death with railing, leave them on the dunghill for carrion. A frolic 
mind and a brave spirit to be employed with his stripping instru- 
ment, in supply of that only want of a divine Aretine, the great 
rider of golden asses. Were his pen as supererogatory a workman 
as his heart, or his lines such transcendents as his thoughts, Lord, 
what an egregious Aretine should we shortly have ; how excessively 
exceeding Aretine himself, that bestowed the surmountingest am- 
plifications at his pleasure, and was a mere hyperbole incarnate ! 
Time may work an accomplishment of wonders ; and his grand 
intentions seem to prognosticate no less than the uttermost possi- 
bilities of capacity or fury extended. Would God, or could the 
devil, give him that unmeasurable allowance of wit and art, that he 
extremely affecteth, and infinitely wanteth, there were no encounter 
but of admiration and honour. 

But it may very well beseem me to conceal defects ; and I were 
best to let him run out his jolly race, and to attend his pleasure at 
all assays, for fear he degrade me, or call me a letter-monger.- Oh ! 
would that were the worst. Gallant gentlemen, did you ever see 
the blades of two brandished swords in the hands of a Fury ? See 


them now ; and, lo, how the victorious duellist stretcheth out the 
arms of his prowess, to run upon those poor letters with a main 
career. Aut nunc, Aut nunquam: now the deadly stroke must be 
stricken; now, now he will surely lay about him like a lusty thresher, 
and beat all to powder that cometh in the mighty swing of his 
double flail. But I know not what astonishing terror may bedim 
my sight ; and peradventure the one of those unlawful weapons is 
no sword, but a shaken firebrand in the hand of Alecto. All the 
worse ; and he twice woe-begone, poor soul, that is at once assaulted 
with fire and iron, the two unmerciful instruments of Mars enraged. 


God shield quiet men from the hands of such cruel confuters ; 
whose arguments are swords, whose sentences murdering bullets, 
whose phrases cross-bars, whose terms no less than serpentine pow- 
der, whose very breath the fire of the match: all exceedingly fearful, 
save his footing, which may haply give him the slip. 

He that stand eth upon a wheel, let him beware he fall not. I 
have heard of some feat stratagems, as sly as the sliest in Frontine 
or Poly en ; and could tell you a pretty tale of a slippery ground, 
that would make somebody's ears glow ; but he that revealeth the 
secret of his own advantage, may have scope enough to beshrew 
himself. The Egyptian Mercury would provide to plant his foot 
upon a square ; and his image in Athens was quadrangular, what- 
soever was the figure of his hat ; and although he were sometime a 
ball of fortune, (who can assure himself of fortune?) yet was he never 
a wheel of folly, or an eel of Ely. The glibbest tongue must consult 
with his wit, and the roundest head with his feet, or peradventure 
he will not greatly thank his tickle devise. The wheelwright may 
be as honest a man as the cutler, the drawer as the cutter, the 
deviser as the printer, the worst of the six as the author ; but some 
tools are false prophets, and some shops fuller of sophistry than 
Aristotle's Elenches; and if never any Avitty deviser did subtly under- 
mine himself, good enough. I can tell you, the wheel was an ancient 


hieroglyphic of the most cunning Egyptians, and figured none of 
their highest mysteries of triumph, or glory. 

But when again I lift up mine eyes, and behold the glorious 
picture of that most threatening slasher, is it possible so courageous 
a confuter should be less terrible than the basilisk of Orus Apollo, 
that with his only hissing killed the poor snakes, his neighbours? Can 
any letters live, that he will slay ? Were not patience, or submis- 
sion, or any course better than farther discourse? What fonder 
business than to trouble the print with pamphlets, that cannot pos- 
sibly live whilst the basilisk hisseth death? Was I wont to jest at 
Elderton's ballading, Gascoigne's sonneting, Greene's pamphleting, 
Martins libelling, Holinshed's ingrossing, somebody's abridging, and 
what-do-ye-call-it's translating ; and shall I now become a scribbling 
creature with fragments of shame, that might long sithence have 
been a fresh writer with discourses of applause ? The very whole 
matter, what but a thing of nothing ? the method, what but a hotch- 
pot for a gallimaufry ? By the one, or other, what hope of public 
use, or private credit ? Socrates' mind could as lightly digest poison, 
as Mithridates' body ; and how easily have the greatest stomachs of 
all ages, or rather the valiantest courages of the world, concocted 
the harshest and rankest injuries ? Politic Philip, victorious Alex- 
ander, invincible Scipio, triumphant Cresar, happy Augustus, mag- 
nificent Titus, and the flower of the noblest minds, that immortality 
honoureth, with a sweet facility gave many bitter reprehensions the 
slip, and finally rid their hands of roughest obloquies. Philosophy 
professeth more ; and the philosopher of emperors, or rather the 
emperor of philosophers, Marcus Antoninus, when he deserved best, 
could with felicity hear the worst. 

Cherish an inward contentment in thyself, my mind, and out- 
ward occurrences, whom they will not make, shall not mar. It is a 
great praise to be discommended of the dishonest, as to be com- 
mended of the virtuous : say, affirm, confirm, approve, justify what 


you can, the captain-scold hath vowed the last word : none so bold 
to adventure any thing, as he hath no good thing to lose ; let him 
forge, or coin; who will believe him? Lay open his vanity, or 
foolery, who knoweth it not; yet who so eager to defend, or offend, 
with tooth or nail, by hook or crook? The art of figs had ever a 
dapper wit, a deft conceit, a sleek forehead, a smug countenance, 
a stinging tongue, a nipping hand, a biting pen, and a bottomless 
pit of invention, stored with never-failing shifts of counterfeit 
cranks ; and my betters, by many degrees, have been fain to be the 
godsons of young Apuleius. 

Divers excellent men have praised the old ass ; give the young 
ass leave to praise himself, and to practise his minion rhetoric upon 
other. There is no dealing, where there is no healing. To strive 
with dirt, is filthy ; to play with edged tools, dangerous ; to try 
masteries with a desperate adversary, hazardous; to encounter 
Demosthenes' viper, or Apollo's basilisk, deadly. To intend your 
own intentions with an inviolable constancy, and to level continu- 
ally at your own determined scope, without respect of extravagant 
ends, or cumbersome interruptions, the best course of proceeding, 
and only firm, cheerful, gallant, and happy resolution. Every by- 
way, that strayeth or gaddeth from that direct path, a wandering 
error ; and a perilous or threatening by-way, a forest of wild beasts. 
Hand, touch not the rankling bile, and throw away the lancing 

I could conceive no less than thus, and thus, when I began 
first to survey that braving empress : and ever, methought, aut 
wwnc, aut nunquam, seemed to prognosticate great tempests at hand, 
and even such valorous works of supererogation as would make an 
employed man of Florence, or Venice, to break day with any other 
important business of state or traffick. I went on and on, still 
and still looking for those presaged wonderments : and thought it 
Plato's great year, till I had rim through the armed pikes, and felt 


the whole dint of the two vengeable unlawful weapons. But I 
believe, never poor man found his imagination so hugely mocked as 
this confuting juggler cozened my expectation without measure, as 
if his whole drift had been nothing else but a pleasurable comedy, 
or a mad stratagem (like those of Bacchus and Pan,) quaintly de- 
vised to defeat the opinion of his credulous reader, and to surprise 
simple minds with a most unlikely event. A fine piece of convey- 
ance in some pageants, and a brave design in fit place. Art 
knoweth the pageants and policy the place. In earnest, I expected 
neither orator of the stews, nor a poet of Bedlam, nor a knight of 
the alehouse, nor a quean of the. cuckingstool, nor a broker of bag- 
gage stuff, nor a pedlar of strange news, nor any base trumpery, or 
mean matters, when Pierce should rack his wit, and Penniless 
stretch out his courage to the uttermost extent of his possibility. 

But without more circumlocution, pride hath a fall : and as of a 
cat, so of Pierce himself, howsoever inspired or enraged, you can 
have but his skin, puffed up with wind, and bombasted with vanity. 
Even when he striveth for life to shew himself bravest in the flaunt- 
a-flaunt of his courage ; and when a man would verily believe he 
should now behold the stately personage of heroical eloquence face 
to face ; or see such an unseen frame of the miracles of art as might 
amaze the heavenly eye of astronomy : holla, Sir, the sweet 
spheres are not too prodigal of their sovereign influences. Pardon 
me, S. Fame. "What the first pang of his divine fury but notable 
vanity : what the second fit but worthy vanity : what the third ca- 
reer but egregious vanity ? what the glory of his ruffian rhetoric 
and courtesan philosophy, but excellent villany? That, that is 
Pierce's Supererogation : and were Penniless a person of any rec- 
koning, as he is a man of notorious fame, that, that perhaps, in 
regard of the outrageous singularity, might be supposed a tragi- 
cal or heroical villany, if ever any villany were so entitled. The 
present consideration of which singularity occasioneth me to be- 


think me of one that this other day very soberly commended some 
extraordinary gifts in Nash; and when he had gravely maintained, 
that in the resolution of his conscience, he was such a fellow as 
some ways had few fellows ; at last concluded somewhat more 

" Well, my masters, you may talk your pleasures of Tom Nash, 
who yet sleepeth secure, not without prejudice to some that might 
be more jealous of their name ; but assure yourselves, if M . Pen- 
nyless had not been deeply plunged in a profound ecstasy of knavery 
M. Pierce had never written that famous work of Supererogation 
that now staineth all the books in Paul's Churchyard, and setteth 
both the universities to school. Till I see your finest humanity 
bestow such a liberal exhibition of conceit and courage upon your 
neatest wits, pardon me, though I prefer one smart pamphlet of 
knavery before ten blundering volumes of the nine Muses. Dream- 
ing and smoke amount alike : life is a gaming, a juggling, a scolding, 
a lowing, a skirmishing, a war ; a comedy, a tragedy ; the slurring 
wit a quintessence of quicksilver ; and there is no dead flesh in 
affection or courage. You may discourse of Hermes' ascending 
spirit, of Orpheus' enchanting harp, of Homer's divine fury, of 
Tyrteus' enraging trumpet, of Pericles' bouncing thunderclaps, of 
Plato's enthusiastical ravishment, and I wot not what marvellous 
eggs in moonshine : but a fly for all your flying speculations, when 
one good fellow with his odd jests, or one mad knave with his awk 
hibber-gibber, is able to put down twenty of your smuggest arti- 
ficial men, that simper it so nicely and coyly in their curious points. 
Try, when you mean to be disgraced ; and never give me credit if 
sanguine wit put not melancholy art to bed. I had almost said all 
the figures of rhetoric must abate me an ace of Pierce' 's Superero- 
gation; and Penny less hath a certain nimble and climbing reach of 
invention as good as a long pole, and a hook that never faileth at 
a pinch. ' It were unnatural,' as the sweet Emperor Marcus An- 


tonius said, * that the fig-tree should ever want juice/ You that 
purpose with great sums of study and candles to purchase the 
worshipful names of dunces and dodipoles, may closely sit, or soak- 
ingly lie at your books; but you that intend to be fine compa- 
nionable gentlemen, smirking wits, and whipsters in the world, 
betake ye timely to the lively practice of the minion profession, 
and enure your mercurial fingers to frame semblable works of Supe- 
rerogation. Certes other rules are fopperies ; and they that will 
seek out the archmystery of the busiest modernists shall find it 
neither more nor less than a certain pragmatical secret, called Vil- 
lany, the very science of sciences, and the familiar spirit of Pierce' 's 
Supererogation. Cozen not yourselves with the gay nothings of 
children and scholars : no privity of learning, or inspiration of wit, 
or revelation of mysteries, or art notory, countervailable with 
Pierce's Supererogation; which having none of them, hath them 
all, and can make them all Asses at his pleasure. The bookworm 
was never but a pick-goose : it is the multiplying spirit, not of the 
alchimist, but of the villanist, that knocketh the nail on the head, 
and spurreth out farther in a day than the quickest artist in a 
week. Whilst others are reading, writing, conferring, arguing, dis- 
coursing, experimenting, platforming, musing, buzzing, or I know 
not what : that is the spirit that with a wondrous dexterity shapeth 
exquisite works, and achieveth puissant exploits of supererogation. 
O my good friends, as you love the sweet world, or tender your 
dear selves, be not unmindful what is good for the advancement of 
your commendable parts. All is nothing without advancement. 
Though my experience be a cypher in these causes, yet having 
studiously perused the new art notory, that is, the foresaid Supe- 
rerogation; and having shaken so many learned asses by the ears, 
as it were by the hands, I could say no less, and might think 


Something else was uttered the same time by the same gen- 


tleman, as well concerning the present state of France, which he 
termed the most unchristian kingdom of the most Christian King, 
as touching certain other news of I wot not what dependence : but 
my mind was running on my halfpenny, and my head so full of 
the foresaid round discourse, that my hand was never quiet until I 
had altered the title of this pamphlet, and newly christened it 
Pierces Supererogation : as well in remembrance of the said dis- 
course, as in honour of the appropriate virtues of Pierce himself; 
who above all the writers that ever I knew shall go for my money, 
where the currentest forgery, impudency, arrogancy, phantasti- 
cality, vanity, and great store of little discretion may go for pay- 
ment, and the filthiest corruption of abominable villany pass un- 

His other miraculous perfections are still in abeyance; and 
his monstrous excellencies in the predicament of chimera. The 
bird of Arabia is long in hatching : and mighty works of Superero- 
gation are not plotted and accomplished at once. It is pity so 
hyperbolical a conceit, over haughty for the surmounting rage of 
Tasso in his furious agony, should be humbled with so diminutive 
a wit, base enough for Elder ton, and the riff-raff of the scribbling 
rascality. I have heard of many disparagements in fellowship ; but 
never saw so great impudency married to so little wit, or so huge 
presumption allied to so petty performance. I must not paint, 
though he daub. Pontan decypher thy vaunting Alopantius Ausi- 
marchides a-new ; and Terence display thy boasting Thraso a-new ; 
and Plautus address thy vain-glorious Pyrgopolinices a-new; here 
is a brat of arrogancy, a gosling of the printing-house, that can 
teach your braggarts to play their parts in the print of wonder, and 
to exploit redoutable works of Supererogation, such as never were 
achieved in Latin or Greek. Which deserve to be looked for with 
such a longing expectation as the Jews look for their kingly Mes- 
sias ; or as I look for Agrippa's dreadful Pyromachy ; for Cardan's 


multiplied matter that shall delude the force of the cannon ; for 
Acontius' perfect art of fortifying little towns against the greatest 
battery ; for the Iliads of all courtly stratagems that Antony Ric- 
cobonus magnifically promiseth; for his universal Repertory of 
all Histories, containing the memorable acts of all ages, all places, 
and all persons ; for the new Calepine of all learned and vulgar 
languages, written or spoken, whereof a loud rumour was lately 
published at Basil ; for a general Pandects of the laws, and sta- 
tutes of all nations and commonwealths in the world, largely pro- 
mised by Doctor Peter Gregorius, but compendiously performed 
in his Syntagma Juris unwersi; for sundry such famous volumes of 
huge miracles in the clouds. 

Do not such arch-wonderments of supernatural furniture de- 
serve arch expectation ? What should the sons of art dream of the 
philosopher's stone, that, like Midas, turneth into gold whatsoever 
it toucheth ; or of the sovereign and divine quintessence, that, like 
Esculapius, restoreth health to sickness ; like Medea, youth to old 
age; like Apollonius, life to death? No philosopher's stone, or 
sovereign quintessence, howsoever preciously precious, equivalent 
to silch divine works of Supererogation. O high-minded Pierce! 
had the train of your words and sentences been answerable to the 
retinue of your brags and threats ; or the robes of your appearance 
in person suitable to the weeds of your ostentation in terms, I would 
surely have been the first that should have proclaimed you the most 
singular secretary of this language, and the heavenliest creature 
under the spheres. Sweet M. Ascham, that was a flowing spring 
of humanity, and worthy Sir Philip Sidney, that was a flourishing 
spring of nobility, must have pardoned me ; I would directly have 
discharged my conscience. But you must give plain men leave to 
utter their opinion without courting: I honour high heads that 
stand upon low feet ; and have no great affection to the gay fellows 
that build up with their clambering hearts, and pull down with their 


untoward hands. Give me the man that is meek in spirit, lofty in 
zeal; simple in presumption, gallant in endeavour; poor in pro- 
fession, rich in performance. Some such I know, and all such I 
value highly. They glory not of the golden stone, or the youthful 
quintessence: but industry is their golden stone ; action their youth- 
ful quintessence ; and valour their divine work of Supererogation. 

Every one may think as he listeth, and speak as he findeth 
occasion ; but in my fancy they are simple the simplest fellows of 
all other that boast they will exploit miracles, and come short in 
ordinary reckonings. Great matters are no wonders when they are 
menaced or promised with big oaths ; and small things are marvels 
when they are not expected or suspected. I wondered to hear that 
Kelly had got the golden fleece, and by virtue thereof was suddenly 
advanced into so honourable reputation with the emperor's majesty ; 
but would have wondered more to have seen a work of Supereroga- 
tion from Nash, whose wit must not enter the lists of comparison with 
Kelly's Alchimy : howsoever he would seem to have the green lion 
and the flying eagle in a box. But Kelly will bid him look to the 
swoln toad and the dancing fool. Kelly knoweth his Lutum Sapien- 
ti<, and useth his terms of art. Silence is a great mystery; and loud 
words but a coward's horn. He that breedeth mountains of hope, 
and with much ado begetteth a molehill, (shall I tell him a new tale 
in old English?) beginneth like a mighty ox, and endeth like a 
sorry ass. To achieve it without ostentation is a notable praise: 
but to vaunt it without achievement, or to threaten it without 
effect, is but a double proof of a simple wit. Execution sheweth 
the ability of the man : presumption betrayeth the vanity of the 
mind. The sun saith not, I will thus and thus display my glorious 
beams, but shineth indeed : the spring braggeth not of gallant 
flowers, but flourisheth indeed : the harvest boasteth not of plen- 
tiful fruit, but fructifieth indeed. Esop's fellows being asked what 
they could do, answered they could do any thing; but Esop 


making a small show could do much indeed : the Greek sophisters 
knowing nothing in comparison (knowledge is a dry water), pro- 
fessed a skill in all things ; but Socrates knowing in a manner all 
things (Socrates was a springing rock), professed a skill in nothing : 
Lullius and his sectaries have the signet of Hermes, and the ad- 
mirable art of disputing infinitely de omni scibili; but Agrippa, one 
of the universallest scholars that Europe hath yielded, and such a 
one as some learned men of Germany, France, and Italy, entitled 
the Omniscious Doctor, Socratically declaimeth against the vanity 
of sciences, and for my comfort penneth the apology of the ass. 

Never any of these prating vagabonds had the virtuous elixir, 
or other important secret : (yet who such monarchs for physic, chi- 
rurgery, spagirique, astrology, palmistry, natural and supernatural 
magic, necromancy, familiar spiritship, and all profound cunning, 
as some of these arrant impostors?) he is a Pythagorean, and a 
close fellow of his tongue and pen that hath the right magisterium 
indeed, and can dispatch with the finger of art that they promise 
with the cozenage. They that vaunt do it not ; and they that pre- 
tend least accomplish most. High spirited Pierce, do it indeed 
that thou crackest in vain, and I will honour thy work that scorn 
thy word. When there was no need, thy breath Avas the mouth of 
Etna ; and, like a Cyclops, thou didst forge thunder in Mongibello : 
now the warring planet was expected in person, and the fiery 
Trigon seemed to give the alarm, thou talkest of cat's meat and 
dog's meat enough ; and will try it out by the teeth at the sign of 
the dog's head in the pot. 

Oh, what a chattering monkey is here ! And oh, what a dog-fly 
is the dog-star proved ! Elderton would have answered this geer out 
of cry : or had I the wits of Scoggin, I would say something to it : 
but I looked for cat's meat in aquafortis, and dog's meat in gun- 
powder ; and can no skill of these terms, steeped in thy mother's 
gutter and thy father's kennel. Nay, if you will needs strike it as 


dead as a door nail, and run upon me with the blade of cat's meat, 
and the firebrand of dog's meat, I have done. Or in case your 
meaning be, as you stoutly protest, to trounce me after twenty in 
the hundred, and to have a bout with me, with two staves and a 
pike, like a tall fellow of Cracovia, there is no dealing for short 
weapons. Young Martin was an old hackster : and had you played 
your master's prizes in his time, he peradventure durst have looked 
those two staves in the face, and would have desired that pike of 
some more acquaintance : but truce keep me out of his hands that 
fighteth furiously with two staves of cat's meat and a pike of dog's 
meat ; and is resolutely bent the best blood of the brothers shall 
pledge him in vinegar. Happy it is no worse than vinegar ; a good 
sauce for cat's meat and dog's meat. 

Gentlemen, you that think promises a bond, and use to per- 
form more than you threaten, never believe Braggadocio again 
for his sake. When he hath done his best, and his worst, trust 
me, or credit your own eyes, his best best is but cat's meat, and 
his worst worst but dog's meat enough. What should I go cir- 
cuiting about the bush? He taketh the shortest cut to the wood, 
and dispatcheth all controversies in a few significant terms; not 
those of gunpowder, which would ask some charging and dis 
charging, but these of dog's meat, which are up with a vomit. He 
that is not so little as the third Cato from heaven, or the eight wise 
man upon earth, may speak with authority ; and christen me a 
dunce, a fool, an idiot, a dolt, a goose-cap, an ass, and I wot not 
what, as filthy as filthy may be. Dogged impudency hath his proper 
idiotism ; and very clarkly schooleth the ears of modesty to spell 
fa, fe, fi, fo, fu. Simple wits would be dealt plainly withal : I stand 
not upon coy or nice points ; but am one of those that would gladly 
learn their own imperfections, errors, and follies, in specialissima 

Be it known unto all men by these presents, that Thomas 


Nash, from the top of his wit looking down upon simple creatures, 
calleth Gabriell Harvey a dunce, a fool, an idiot, a dolt, a goose- 
cap, an ass, and so forth : (for some of the residue is not to be 
spoken but with his own mannerly mouth :) but the wise man in 
print should have done well in his learned confutation to have 
shewed particularly which words in my letters were the words of a 
dunce ; which sentences the sentence of a fool ; which arguments 
the argument of an idiot ; which opinions the opinions of a dolt ; 
which judgments the judgments of a goose-cap ; which conclusions 
the conclusions of an ass. Either this would be done (for I sup- 
pose he would be loath to prove some asses that in favour have 
written otherwise, and in reason are to verify their own testimonies) : 
or he must be fain himself to eat his own cat's meat and dog's 
meat, and swallow down a dunce, a fool, an idiot, a dolt, a goose- 
cap, an ass in his own throat; the proper ease of the filthiest ex- 
crements, and the sink of the famous rascal that had rather be a 
polecat with a stinking stir, than a musk cat with gracious favour. 
Pardon me, gentle Civility ; if I did not tender you, and dis- 
claim impudency, I could do him some piece of right, and shew him 
his well-favoured face in a crystal as true as Gascoigne's Steel-glass, 
But trust him not for a dodkin (it is his own request), if I ever did 
my doctor's acts, which a thousand heard in Oxford, and some 
kneAV to be done with as little premeditation as ever such acts were 
done : (for I answered upon the questions that were given me by 
Doctor Cathedrae but two days before, and read my cursory lec- 
ture with a day's warning :) or if I be not a Fawn guest messenger 
between M. Christopher Bird, in whose company I never dined or 
supped these six years, and M. Emanuel Demetrius, with whom I 
never drank to this day. Other matters touching her Highness' 
affability towards scholars (so her Majesty's favour toward me must 
be interpreted :) the privy watchword of honourable men in their 
letters commendatory, even in the highest degree of praising (so 

our High Chancellor's commendation must be qualified :) Nash's 
grave censure of public invectives and satires (so Harvey's slight 
opinion of contentions and seditious libels must be crossbitten :) 
his testimony of Cicero's Consolation ad Dolabdlam, (which he will 
needs father upon me in reproach, though his betters will never 
pen such a piece of Latin, whosoever Avere the step-Tully :) his 
derision of the most profitable and valorous Mathematical Arts 
(whose industry hath achieved wonders of mightier puissance than 
the labours of Hercules :) his contempt of the worthiest persons in 
every faculty (which he always censureth as his punies and under- 
lings :) his palpable atheism, and drinking a cup of lamb's wool to 
the Lamb of God ; his gibing at heaven (the haven Avhere my de- 
ceased brother is arrived), with a deep cut out of his grammar rules, 
Astra petit disertus : the very stars are scars where he listeth : and 
a hundred such and such particularities, that require some larger 
discourse, shew him to be a young man of the greenest spring, as 
beardless in judgment as in face, and as penny less in wit as in 
purse. It is the least of his famous adventures that he undertaketh 
to be Green's advocate: as divine Plato assayed to defend Socrates 
at the bar : and I know not whether it be the least of his doughty 
exploits that he salveth his friend's credit as that excellent disciple 
saved his master's life. 

He may declare his dear affection to his paramour ; or his pure 
honesty to the world ; or his constant zeal to play the devil's orator : 
but no apology of GREEN, like Greens Groat' s-worth of Wit: and 
when NASH will indeed accomplish a work of Supererogation, let him 
publish NASH'S Pennyworth of Discretion. If he be learned er or 
wiser than other in so large an assize as should appear by the report 
of his own mouth, it is the better for him ; but it were not amiss 
he should sometime look back to the budget of ignorance and folly 
that hangeth behind him ; as otherwhiles he condescendeth to glance 
at the satchel of his grammar books. 



Calumny, and her cousin-german Impudency, will not always 
hold out rubbers : and they need not greatly brag of their harvest 
that make phantasy the root, vanity the stalk, folly the ear, penury 
the crop, and shame the whole substance of their studies. To be 
overbold with one or two, is something : to be saucy with many, 
is much : to spare few or none, is odious : to be impudent with all, 
is intolerable. There were fair play enough, though foul play were 
debarred : but boys, fools, and knaves take all in snuff, when the 
variance might be debated in the language of courtesy ; and nothing 
but horseplay Avill serve where the colt is disposed to play the jade. 
Did I list to persecute him in his own vein, or were I not re- 
strained with respective terms of divine and civil moderation ; O 
Aretin, how pleasurably might I canvas the bawling cur in a tossing 
sheet of paper ; or, O Gryson, who could more easily discover a new 
art of riding a headstrong beast? But that which Nash accounteth 
the bravery of his wit, and the double crest of his style, I am in dis- 
cretion to cut off; and in modesty yield it his only glory to have 
the foulest mouth that I ever saw, and the strongest breath that I 
ever felt. 

When witty girding faileth, as it pitifully faileth in every page 
of that Supererogatory work ; Lord, what odious baggage, what 
rascal stuff, what villanous trumpery filleth up the leaf; and how 
egregiously would he play the vengeable sycophant, if the convey- 
ance of his art or wit were in any measure of proportion correspon- 
dent to his pestilent stomach ? But in the fellest fit of his fury, even 
when he runneth upon me with openest mouth, and his spite, like 
a poisonous toad, swelleth in the full, as if some huge tympany of 
wit would presently possess his brain ; or some horrible fiery spright 
would fly in my face and blast me to nothing: then good Dick 
Tarleton is dead, and nothing alive but cat's meat and dog's meat 
enough. Nay, were it not that he had dealt politickly in providing 
himself an authentical surety, or rather a mighty protector at a 


pinch,. -such a devoted friend and inseparable companion as Eneas 
was to Achates, Pylades to Orestes, Diomedes to Ulysses, Achilles 
to Patroclus, and Hercules to Theseus, doubtless he had been utterly 

Compare old and new histories, of far and near countries, and 
you shall find the late manner of sworn brothers, to be no new 
fashion, but an ancient guise, and heroical order ; devised for neces- 
sity, continued for security, and maintained for profit and pleasure. 
In bravest actions, in weightiest negociations, in hardest distresses, 
in how many cases one man nobody ; and a daily friend as neces- 
sary as our daily bread. No treasure more precious, no bond more 
indefeasible, no castle more impregnable, no force more invincible, 
no truth more infallible, no element more needful than an entire 
and assured associate, ever prest as well in calamity to comfort, 
or in adversity to relieve, as in prosperity to congratulate, or in 
advancement to honour. 

Life is sweet, but not without sweet society : and an inward 
affectionate friend (as it were another the same, or a second self), 
the very life of life, and the sweet heart of the heart. Nash is 
learned, and knoweth his Leripup. Where was Euryalus, there was 
Nisus ; where Damon, there Pythias ; where Scipio, there Lrelius ; 
where Apollonius, there Damides ; where Proclus, there Archiadas ; 
where Pyrocles, there Musidorus ; where Nash, there his Nisus, his 
Pythias, his Laelius, his Damides, his Archiadas, his Musidorus, his 
indivisible companion, with whose puissant help he conquereth 
wheresoever he rangeth. Nay, Homer not such an author for Alex- 
ander, nor Xenophon for Scipio, nor Virgil for Augustus, nor Justin 
for Marcus Aurelius, nor Livy for Theodosius Magnus, nor Caesar 
for Selymus, nor Philip de Comines for Charles the Fifth, nor Ma- 
chiavel for some late princes, nor Are tin for some late courtesans, 
as his author for him ; the sole author of renowned victory. 

Marvel not that Erasmus hath penned the Encomium of Folly; 


or that so many singular learned men have laboured the commenda- 
tion of the Ass : he it is that is the godfather of Avriters, the super- 
intendant of the press, the muster-master of innumerable bands, the 
general of the great field : he and Nash will confute the world. And 
where is the eagle's quill that can sufficiently advance the first spoils 
of their new conquests ? Whist, sorry pen, and be advised how thou 
presume above the highest pitch of thy possibility. He that hath 
christened so many notable authors ; censured so many eloquent 
pens ; enrolled so many worthy garrisons ; and encamped so many 
noble and reverend lords, may be bold with me. If I be an Ass, I 
have company enough : and if I be no Ass, I have favour to be 
installed in such company. The name will shortly grow in re- 
quest, as it sometime flourished in glorious Rome; and who then 
will not sue to be free of that honourable company? Whilst 
they are ridden, I desire not to be spared ; when the hotspur 
is weary with tiring them, he will scarcely trouble himself with 
asking ; or if he do, I may chance acquaint him with a secret in 

He that drinketh oil of pricks shall have much ado to void 
syrup of roses ; and he that eateth nettles for provender, hath a 
privilege to piss upon lillies for litter. Paul's Wharf honour the 
memory of old John Hester, that would not stick with his friend for 
twenty such experiments, and would often tell me of a Magistral 
Unguent for all sores. Who knoweth not that Magistral unguent 
knoweth nothing ; and who hath that Magistral unguent feareth no 
gun-shot. The confuter meant to be famous, like Poggius, that all- 
to-be-assed Valla, Trapezuntius, and their defendants, many learned 
Italians ; or might have given a guess at some possible after-claps, 
as good as a prognostication of an after-winter. Though Pierce 
Penniless for a spirt were a rank rider, and like an errant knight over- 
ran nations Avith a career ; yet Thomas Nash might have been ad- 
vised, and in policy have spared them that in compassion favoured 


him ; and were unfeignedly sorry to find his miserable estate as well 
in his style as in his purse, and in his wit as in his fortune. Some 
complexions have much ado to alter their nature ; and Nash will 
carry a tache of Pierce to his grave, (we have worse proverbs in 
English:) yet who seeth not what apparent good my letters have 
done him, that before overcrowed all comers and goers with like 
discretion, but now forsooth hath learned some few handsome terms 
of respect, and very mannerly beclaweth a few, that he might the 
more licentiously besmear one. S. Fame give him joy of his black 
coal and his white chalk ! 

Who is not limed with some default, or who readier to confess 
his own imperfections, than myself? but when in professed hatred, 
like a mortal feudist, he hath uttered his very uttermost spite, and 
wholly disgorged his rancorous stomach, yet can he not so much as 
devise any particular action of trespass, or object any certain vice 
against me, but only one grievous crime, called pumps and pan- 
tofles (which, indeed, I have worn ever since I knew Cambridge), 
and his own dearest heart root, pride ; which, I protest before God 
and man, my soul in judgment as much detesteth as my body in 
nature loatheth poison, or any thing abhorreth his deadly enemy, 
even amongst those creatures which are found fatally contrary by 
natural antipathy. 

It is not excess, but defect of pride, that hath broken the head 
of some men's preferment. Aspiring minds can soar aloft : and self- 
conceit, with the countenance of audacity, the tongue of impudency, 
and the hand of dexterity, presseth boldly into the forwardest throng 
of the shouldering rank ; whilst discretion hath leisure to discourse, 
whether some deal of modesty were meeter for many that presume 
above their condition, and some deal of self-liking fitter for some 
that have felt no greater want than want of pride. 

It may seem a rude disposition, that sorteth not with the quality 
of the age : and policy deemeth that virtue a vice, that modesty sim- 


plicity. that resoluteness dissoluteness, that conformeth not itself 
with a supple and deft correspondence to the present time : but no 
such ox, in my mind, as Tarquinius Superbus; no such calf, as 
Spurius Melius ; no such colt, as Publius Clodius ; no such ape, as 
Lucian's rhetorician, or the devil's orator. Blind ambition, a noble 
bayard ; proud arrogancy, a golden ass ; vain conceit, a gaudy pea- 
cock ; all bravery, that is not effectually a gay nothing. 

He upbraideth me with his own good nature ; but where such 
an insolent braggard, or such a puffing thing, as himself? that in 
magnifying his own babble, and debasing me, revileth them whose 
books or pantofles he is not worthy to bear. If I be an Ass, what 
Asses were those courteous friends, those excellent learned men, 
those worshipful and honourable personages, whose letters of un- 
deserved, but singular commendation may be shewn ? What an Ass 
was thyself, when thou didst publish my praise amongst the notablest 
writers of this realm ? or what an Ass art thyself, that in the spite- 
fullest outrage of thy maddest confutation, dost otherwhiles interlace 
some remembrances of more account than I can acknowledge with- 
out vanity, or desire without ambition ? 

The truth is, I stand as little upon others commendations, or 
mine own titles, as any man in England whosoever, if there be 
nothing else to solicit my cause : but being so shamefully and in- 
tolerably provoked in the most villanous terms of reproach, I were 
indeed a notorious insensate Ass, in case I should either sottishly 
neglect the reputation of so worthy favourers, or utterly abandon 
mine own credit. 

Sweet gentlemen, renowned knights, and honourable lords, be 
not ashamed of your letters, imprinted or written. If I live, seeing 
I must either live in tenebris with obloquy, or in luce with proof, by 
the leave of God I will prove myself no Ass. I speak not only to 
M. Bird, M. Spenser, or Monsieur Bodin, whom he nothing regard- 
eth (yet I would his own learning or judgment were any way match- 


able with the worst of the three), but, amongst a number of sundry 
other learned and gallant gentlemen, to M. Thomas Watson, a 
notable poet ; to M. Thomas Hatcher, a rare antiquary ; to M. 
Daniel Rogers of the court; to Doctor Griffin Floyd, the queen's 
professor of law at Oxford ; to Doctor Peter Baro, a professor of 
divinity in Cambridge ; to Doctor Bartholomew Clark, late Dean of 
the Arches ; to Doctor William Lewen, judge of the prerogative 
court ; to Doctor John Thomas Freigius, a famous writer of Ger- 
many ; to Sir Philip Sidney ; to M. Secretary Wilson ; to Sir Thomas 
Smith ; to Sir Walter Mildmay ; to my Lord the Bishop of Rochester ; 
to my Lord Treasurer; to my Lord the Earl of Leicester: unto 
whose worshipful and honourable favours I have been exceedingly 
beholden for letters of extraordinary commendation ; such as some 
of good experience have doubted whether they ever vouchsafed the 
like unto any of either university. 

I beseech God I may deserve the least part of their good 
opinion, either in effectual proof, or in dutiful thankfulness : but 
how little soever I presume of mine own sufficiency (he that knoweth 
himself hath small cause to conceive any high hope of low means), 
as in reason I was not to natter myself with their bountiful com- 
mendation, so in judgment I am not to aggrieve myself with the 
odious detraction of this pestilent libeller, or any like dispiteous 
slanderer; but in patience am to digest the one with moderation, 
as in temperance I qualified the other with modesty. Some would 
say, what is the peevish grudge of one beggarly rake-hell, to so 
honourable liking of so many excellent, and some singular men? 
But God in heaven teach me to take good by my adversaries' 
invective, and no harm by my favourers' approbation. It is 
neither the one nor the other that deserveth evil or well, but the 
thing itself that edifieth; without which, praise is smoke; and with 
which, dispraise is fire. Let me enjoy that essential point; and 
hawk, or hunt, or fish after praise, you that list. Many contume- 
lious and more glorious reports have passed from enemies and 


friends without cause, or upon small occasion; that is the only 
infamy, that cannot acquit itself from guiltiness ; and that the only 
honour, that is grounded upon desert. Other winds of defamation 
want matter to uphold it; and other shadows of glory lack a 
body to support it. In unhappiness they are happy, of whose bad 
amounteth good; and in happiness they unhappy, whose good 
proveth bad : as glory eftsoons followeth them that fly from it, 
and flieth from them that follow it. There is a. term probatory 
that will not lie; and commendations are never authentical until 
they be signed with the seal of approved desert, the only infallible 
testimonial. Desert (maugre envy, the companion of virtue), 
Socrates' highway to honour, and the total sum of Osorius De Gloria. 
I will not enter into Machiavel's Discourses, Jovius' Elogies, Car- 
dan's Nativities, Cosmopolite's Dialogues, or later histories in divers 
languages ; but some worthily continue honourable whom they make 
dishonourable, and contrarywise. Reason hath an even hand, and 
dispenseth to every one his right ; art amplifieth or extenuateth at 
occasion ; the residue is the liberality of the pen, or the poison of 
the ink: in logic, sophistry; in law, injury; in history, a fable; in 
divinity, a lie. Horace, a sharp and sententious poet, after his 
pithy manner, compriseth much in few Avords : 

Falsus honor juvat, et mendax infamia terret, 
Quern nisi mendacem, et mendosum ? 

For mine own part, I am reasonably resolute both Avays, and stand 
afraid of fantastical discredit, as I esteem imaginative credit, or a 
contemplative banquet. It fitteth not with the profession of a 
philosopher, or the constancy of a man, to carry the mind of a 
child, or a youth, or a woman, osr a slave, or a tyrant, or a beast. 
That resteth not in my power to reform or alter, I were very unwise 
if I should not endure with patience, mitigate with reason, and 
contemn with pleasure. Only I can be content, in certain behove- 
ful respects, to yield a piece of satisfaction unto some that require 
it in affectionate terms : and what honest mind, in case of mortality, 

57 . /-;. ... . 

hath not a care how the posterity may be informed of him ? Other 
reasons I have elsewhere assigned ; and am here to present a vow 
to humility, in detestation of that which my disposition abhorreth. 
As for his lewd supposals, and imputations of counterfeit 
praises, Avithout any probability of circumstances, or the least 
suspicion, but in his own vengeable malicious head, the common 
forge of pestilent surmises and arrant slanders, they are, like my im- 
prisonment in the Fleet, of his strong phantasy, and do but imitate his 
own skill in falsifying of evidence, and suborning of witnesses to his 
purpose. He museth as he useth ; and the good wife, his mother, 
would never have sought her daughter in the oven, if herself had 
not been well acquainted with such shifts of cunning conveyance. 
He was never a non-proficient in good matters ; and hath not 
studied his fellow's art of coney-catching for nothing. Examine 
the printer's gentle preamble before the supplication to the devil, 
and tell me in good sooth, by the verdict of the touchstone, 
whether Pierce Penniless commended Pierce Penniless, or no ; and 
whether that sorry praise of the author, Thomas Nash, be not 
loathsome from the mouth of the printer Thomas Nash. In con- 
jectural causes I am not to avouch any thing, and I mentioned not 
any such supposition before : but the tenour of the style, and, as it 
were, the identity of the phrase, together with this new descant of 
his profound insight in forgery, may, after a sort, tell tales out of 
the title De Secretis non revelandis; and yield a certain strong 
savour of a vehement presumption. There is pregnant evidence 
enough, though I leave probable conjectures, and violent presump- 
tions, where I found them. His life daily feedeth his style, and 
his style notoriously bewrayeth his life. 

But what is that to me, or the world, how Nash liveth, or how 
the poor fellow his father hath put him to his foisting and scribbling 
shifts ; his only gloria patri, when all is done. Rule thy desperate 
infamous pen ; and be the son of a mule, or the printer's gentleman, 



or what thou wilt, for me. If thou wilt needs derive thy pedigree 
from the noble blood of the Kilpricks, and Childeberds, kings of 
France, what commission have I to sit upon genealogies, or to call 
nobility in question? If thou beest disposed to speak as thou 
livest, and to live like Tonosconcoleros, the famous Babylonian 
king, in courtesy or in policy forbear one that is not over hasty to 
trouble himself with troubling other. What I have heard credibly 
reported, I can yet be content to smother in silence, and neither 
threaten thee with Tyburn, nor Newgate, nor Oldgate, nor Compter, 
nor Fleet, nor any public penance, but wish thy amendment; and 
dare not be too saucy with your good qualities, lest you confute 
my Mastership of Art, as you have done my Doctorship of Law. 
Never poor Doctorship was so confuted. The best is, I dote not 
upon it ; and would rather be actually degraded, than any way dis- 
parage the degree, or derogate from them that are worthier of it. 

Rest you quiet, and I will not only not struggle with you for 
a title, but offer here to renounce the whole advantage of a late 
inquisition upon a clamorous denunciation of S. Fame herself, who 
presumed she might be as bold to play the blab with you, as you 
were to play the sloven with her. Or if your pen be so rank that 
it cannot stand upon any ground but the soil of calumny, in the 
muck-yard of impudency, or your tongue so laxative, that it must 
utterly utter a great horrible deal more than all ; whist a while, and 
for your instruction, till some pregnanter lessons come abroad, I 
will briefly tell you in your ear a certain familiar history of more 
than one or two breakfasts, wherein some eight or nine eggs, and a 
pound of butter, for your poor part, with God's plenty of other vic- 
tuals, and wine enough poured in by quarts and pottles, was a scant 
pittance for an invincible stomach, two hours before his ordinary. 
I have read of Apicius, and the epicure's philosophy, but I perceive 
you mean not to be accounted a Pythagorean or a Stoic. What ! 
gorge upon gorge, eggs upon eggs, and sack upon sack, at these 


years ? By'r Lady, Sir Kilprick, you must provide for a hot kitchen 
against you grow old, if you purpose to live Doctor Feme's or Dr. 
KenoFs years. Such egging and whitling may happen bring you 
acquainted with the triumphant chariot of rotten eggs, if you take 
not the better order in time, with one or two of the seven deadly 

I will not offend your stomach with the nice and quaint regi- 
men of the dainty Platonists, or pure Pythagoreans : fine theurgy ; 
too gaunt and meagre a doctrine for the devil's orator ; if the art 
notary cannot be gotten without fasting and praying, much good 
itch them that have it : let fantastical or superstitious abstinence 
dance in the air like Aristophanes' clouds, or Apuleius' witches, 
your own method of those deadly sins be your Castle of Health. No 
remedy; you must be dieted, and let blood in the Cephalica vein 
of asses, fools, dolts, ideots, dunces, dodipolles, and so forth in- 
finitely ; and never trust me, if you be not as tame-tongued, and 
barren- witted, as other honest men of Lombardy and the Low 
Countries. Tush, man, I see deeper into thee than thou seest into 
thyself: thou hast a superficial tang of some little something, as 
good as nothing ; and a running wit, as fisking as any fisgig, but as 
shallow as Trumpington ford, and as slight as the new workman- 
ship of gewgaws to please children, or of toys to mock apes, or of 
trinkets to conquer savages. Only in that singular vein of Asses 
thou art incomparable ; and such an egregious arrant fool-monger 
as liveth not again. She knew what she said, that intituled Pierce 
the hogshead of wit, Penniless the tosspot of eloquence, and Nash 
the very inventor of Asses. She it is that must broach the barrel 
of thy frisking conceit, and canonize the patriarch of new writers. 

I will not here decipher thy unprinted packet of bawdy and 
filthy rhymes, in the nastiest kind ; there is a fitter place for that 
discovery of thy foulest shame, and the whole ruffianism of thy 
brothel Muse, if she still prostitute her obscene ballads, and will 


needs be a young courtezan of old knavery. Yet better a con- 
futer of letters,- than a confounder of manners ; and better the dog's 
meat of Agrippa, or cat's meat of Poggius, than the swine's meat 
of Martial, or goat's meat of Aretine. Cannot an Italian ribald 
vomit out the infectious poison of the world, but an English horrel- 
lorrel must lick it up for a restorative, and attempt to putrify gentle 
minds with the vilest imposthumes of lewd corruption? Fie on 
impure Ganymedes, Hermaphrodites, Neronists, Messalinists, Do- 
decomechanists, Capricians, Inventors of new, or Revivers of old 
lecheries, and the whole brood of venereous libertines, that know no 
reason but appetite, no law but lust, no humanity but villany, no 
divinity but atheism. Such riotous and incestuous humours would 
be lanced, not feasted; the devil is eloquent enough to play his 
own orator ; his dam, an old bawd, wanteth not the brokage of a 
young poet. Wanton sprites were always busy ; and Duke Al- 
locer, on his lusty cock-horse, is a whot familiar. The sons of 
Adam, and the daughters of Eve, have no need of the serpent's 
carouse to set them a-gog. Sodom still burneth; and although 
fire from Heaven spare Gomorrah, yet Gomorrah still consumeth 

Even amorous sonnets, in the gallantest and sweetest civil 
vein, are but dainties of a pleasurable wit, or junkets of a wanton 
liver, or buds of an idle head ; whatsoever sprouteth farther would 
be lopped. Petrarch's invention is pure love itself; and Petrarch's 
elocution pure beauty itself. His Laura was the Daphne of Apollo, 
not the Thisbe of Pyramus ; a delicious Sappho, not a lascivious 
Lais ; a saving Hester, not a destroying Helena ; a nymph of Diana, 
not a courtezan of Venus. Aretine's Muse was an egregious bawd, 
and a haggish witch of Thessalia ; but Petrarch's verse a fine lover, 
that learneth of Mercury to exercise his fairest gifts in a fair subject, 
and teacheth wit to be enamoured upon beauty ; as quicksilver 
embraceth gold, or as virtue affecteth honour, or as astronomy 


gazeth upon heaven, to make art more excellent by contemplation 
of excellentest nature. Petrarch was a delicate man, and with an 
elegant judgment gratuitously confined love within the limits of 
honour, wit within the bounds of discretion, eloquence within the 
terms of civility, as, not many years sithence, an English Petrarch 
did, a singular gentleman and a sweet poet, whose verse singeth as 
valour might speak, and whose ditty is an image of the sun vouch- 
safing to represent his glorious face in a cloud. 

What speak I of one or two English paragons ? or what should 
I blazon the gallant and brave metres of Ariosto and Tasso, always 
notable, sometimes admirable ? All the noblest Italian, French, and 
Spanish poets, have in their several veins Petrarchised ; that is, 
loved wittily, not grossly ; lived civilly, not lewdly ; and written 
deliciously, not wantonly. And it is no dishonour for the daintiest 
or divinest Muse to be his scholar, whom the amiablest invention, 
and beautifulest elocution, acknowledge their master. All posterity 
honour Petrarch, that was the harmony of heaven, the life of poetry, 
the grace of art, a precious tablet of rare conceits, and a curious 
frame of exquisite workmanship ; nothing but neat wit, and refined 
eloquence. Were the amorous Muse of my enemy such a lively 
spring of sweetest flowers, and such a living harvest of ripest fruits, 
I would abandon other loves, to dote upon that most lovely Muse, 
and would debase the diamond in comparison of the most diamond 

But out upon rank and loathsome ribaldry, that putrifieth 
where it should purify, and presumeth to deflower the most flourish- 
ing wits Avith whom it consorteth, either in familiarity or by favour. 
One Ovid was too much for Rome ; and one Greene too much for 
London ; but one Nash more intolerable than both : not because 
his wit is any thing comparable, but because his will is more out- 
rageous. Ferrara could scarcely brook Manardus, a poisonous 
physician ; Mantua hardly bear Pomponatius, a poisonous philoso- 


pher ; Florence more hardly tolerate Machiavel, a poisonous poli- 
tician ; Venice most hardly endure Aretine, a poisonous ribald : 
had they lived in absolute monarchies, they would have seemed 
utterly insupportable. Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Polony, Bo- 
hemia, Hungary, Moscovy, are no soils of any such wits. But 
neither France, nor Spain, nor Turkey, nor any puissant kingdom, 
in one or other monarchy of the old or new world, could ever abide 
any such pernicious writers, depravers of common discipline. 

England, since it was England, never bred more honourable 
minds, more adventurous hearts, more valorous hands, or more ex- 
cellent wits, than of late : it is enough for Filly-folly to intoxicate 
itself, though it be not suffered to defile the land, which the water en- 
vironeth, the earth enricheth, the air ensweeteneth, and the heaven 
blesseth. The bounteous graces of God are sown thick, but come 
up thin ; corruption had little need to be fostered ; wantonness will 
be a nurse, a bawd, a poet, a legend to itself; virtue hath much 
ado to hold out inviolably her purposed course ; resolution is a for- 
ward fellow, and valour a brave man ; but affections are infectious, 
and appetite must sometime have his swing. Were appetite a 
loyal subject to reason, and will an affectionate servant to wisdom, 
as labour is a dutiful vassal to commodity, and travel a flying post 
to honour; oh heavens, what exploits of worth, or rather what 
miracles of excellency might be achieved in an age of policy, and a 
world of industry ! 

The date of idle vanities is expired ; away with these scribbling 
paltries; there is another Sparta in hand, that indeed requireth 
Spartan temperance, Spartan frugality, Spartan exercise, Spartan 
valiancy, Spartan perseverance, Spartan invincibility; and hath 
no wanton leisure for the comedies of Athens, nor any bawdy hours 
for the songs of Priapus, or the rhymes of Nash. Had he begun 
to Aretinize when Elderton began to ballad, Gascoigne to sonnet, 
Turbervile to madrigal, Drant to versify, or Tarleton to extern- 


porise ; some part of his fantastical bibble-babbles, and capricious 
pangs, might have been tolerated in a green and wild youth ; but 
the wind is changed, and there is a busier pageant upon the stage. 
M. Ascham's Toxophilus long sithence shot a fairer mark ; and M. 
Gascoigne himself, after some riper experience, was glad to try 
other conclusions in the Low Countries, and bestowed an honour- 
able commendation upon Sir Humphrey Gilbert's gallant discourse 
of a discovery for a new passage to the East Indies. 

But read the report of the worthy Western discoveries, by 
the said Sir Humphrey Gilbert; the report of the brave West 
Indian voyage by the conduction of Sir Francis Drake ; the report 
of the horrible Septentrional discoveries, by the travel of Sir Martin 
Forbisher ; the report of the politic discovery of Virginia by the 
colony of Sir Walter Raleigh ; the report of sundry other famous 
discoveries and adventures, published by M. Richard Hackluit, in 
one volume, a work of importance ; the report of the hot welcome 
of the terrible Spanish Armada to the coast of England, that came 
in glory, and went in dishonour; the report of the redoubted 
voyage into Spain and Portugal, whence the brave Earl of Essex, 
and the two valorous generals, Sir John Norris, and Sir Francis 
Drake, returned with honour ; the report of the resolute encounter 
about the isles Azores, betwixt the Revenge of England and an 
Armada of Spain, in which encounter brave Sir Richard Granville 
most vigorously and impetuously attempted the extremest possi- 
bilities of valour and fury. 

For brevity I overskip many excellent tracts of the same 
or the like nature ; but read these, and M. William Borrowghes' 
notable discourse of the Variation of the Compass or magnetical 
needle, annexed to the new Attractive of Robert Norman, hydro- 
grapher; unto which two England in some respects is as much 
beholden, as Spain unto Martin Cortes, and Peter de Medina, for 
the Art of Navigation : and when you have observed the course of 


industry, examined the antecedents and consequents of travel, com- 
pared English and Spanish valour, measured the forces of both 
parties, weighed every circumstance of advantage, considered the 
means of our assurance, and finally found profit to be our pleasure, 
provision our security, labour our honour, warfare our Avelfare : 
who of reckoning can spare any lewd or vain time for corrupt 
pamphlets ; or who of judgment will not cry, away with these pal- 
tering fiddle-faddles ? 

When Alexander, in his conquerous expeditions, visited the 
ruins of Troy, and revolved in his mind the valiant acts of the 
heroical worthies there achieved, one offered to bring his majesty 
the harp of Paris. " Let it alone," quoth he, " it is the harp of 
Achilles that must serve my turn." Paris upon his harp sang 
voluptuous and lascivious carols ; Achilles' harp was an instru- 
ment of glory, and a choir of divine hymns consecrated to the 
honour of valorous captains and mighty conquerors. He regarded 
not the dainty Lydian, Ionian, or Eolian melody, but the brave 
Dorian, and impetuous Phrygian music ; and waged Zenophantus 
to inflame and enrage his courage with the furious notes of battle. 
One Alexander was a thousand examples of prowess ; but Pyrrhus, 
the redoubted king of the Epirots, was another Alexander in tem- 
pestuous execution ; and in a most noble resolution contemned 
the vanities of unnoble pastimes, insomuch, that when one of his 
barons asked his majesty, whether of the two musicians, Charisius 
or Python, pleased his highness better : " Whether of the two," 
quoth Pyrrhus, " marry, Polysperces shall go for my money." He 
was a brave captain for the eye, and a fit musician for the ear of 
Pyrrhus. Happy Polysperces, that served such a master; and 
happy Pyrrhus, that commanded such a servant. 

Were some demanded, whether Greene's or Nash's pamphlets 
were better penned, I believe they would answer, Sir Roger Wil- 
liams's Discourse of War, for militare doctrine in esse; and M. 


Thomas Digges' Stratioticos, for militare discipline in esse. And 
whiles I remember the princely care of Gelo, a famous tyrant of 
Sicily (many tyrants of Sicily were very politic), that commanded 
his great horse to be brought into the banquetting-house, where 
other lords called for the harp, other knights for the waits, I cannot 
forget the gallant discourse of Horsemanship, penned by a rare 
gentleman, M. John Asteley, of the Court, whom I dare entitle our 
English Xenophon ; and marvel not, that Pietro Bizzaro, a learned 
Italian, proposeth him for a perfect pattern of Castillo's Courtier. 
And thinking upon worthy M. Asteley, I cannot overpass the like 
labour of good M. Thomas Blundevil, without due commendation ; 
whose painful and skilful books of Horsemanship deserve also to 
be registered in the catalogue of Xenophontian works. 

What should I speak of the two brave knights, Musidorus and 
Pyrocles, combined in one excellent knight, Sir Philip Sidney ; at 
the remembrance of whose worthy and sweet virtues, my heart 
melteth ? Will you needs have a written Palace of Pleasure, or ra- 
ther a printed court of honour ? Read the Countess of Pembroke's 
Arcadia, a gallant legendary, full of pleasurable accidents, and 
profitable discourses ; for three things especially very notable : for 
amorous courting (he was young in years), for sage counselling 
(he was ripe in judgment), and for valorous fighting (his sovereign 
profession was arms :) and delightful pastime by way of pastoral 
exercises, may pass for the fourth. He that will love, let him learn 
to love of him that will teach him to live, and furnish him with 
many pithy and effectual instructions, delectably interlaced by way 
of proper descriptions of excellent personages, and common nar- 
rations of other notable occurrences, in the vein of Sallust, Livy, 
Cornelius Tacitus, Justin, Eutropius, Philip de Comines, Guic- 
ciardine, and the most sententious historians that have powdered 
their style with the salt of discretion, and seasoned their judgment 
with the leaven of experience. 



There want not some subtle stratagems of importance, and some 
politic secrets of privity : and he that would skilfully and bravely 
manage his weapon with a cunning fury, may find lively precepts in 
the gallant examples of his valiantest duellists, especially of Palla- 
dius and Daiphantus, Zelmane and Amphialus, Phalantus and Am- 
phialus; but chiefly of Argalus and Amphialus, Pyrocles and Anaxius, 
Musidorus and Amphialus, whose lusty combats may seem heroical 
monomachies. And that the valour of such redoubted men may 
appear the more conspicuous and admirable by comparison and 
interview of their contraries, smile at the ridiculous encounters of 
Dametas and Dorus, of Dametas and Clinias ; and ever when you 
think upon Dametas, remember the confuting champion, more 
surquidrous than Anaxius, and more absurd than Dametas : and if 
I should always hereafter call him Dametas, I should fit him with 
a name as naturally proper unto him as his own. 

Gallant gentlemen, you that honour virtue, and would enkindle 
a noble courage in your minds to every excellent purpose, if Homer 
be not at hand (whom I have often termed the prince of poets, and 
the poet of princes), you may read his furious Iliads and cunning 
Odysses, in the brave adventures of Pyrocles and Musidorus, where 
Pyrocles playeth the doughty fighter, like Hector or Achilles ; Musi- 
dorus, the valiant captain, like Pandarus or Diomedes ; both the 
famous errant knights, like Eneas or Ulysses. Lord, what would 
himself have proved in fine, that was the gentleman of courtesy, the 
esquire of industry, the knight of valour, at those years ? Live ever, 
sweet Book, the silver image of his gentle wit, and the golden pillar 
of his noble courage; and ever notify unto the world, that thy 
writer was the secretary of eloquence, the breath of the Muses, the 
honey bee of the daintiest flowers of wit and art, the pith of moral 
and intellectual virtues, the arm of Bellona in the field, the tongue 
of Suada in the chamber, the spirit of practise in esse, and the para- 
gon of excellency in print. 

And now, whilst I consider what a trumpet of honour Homer 
hath been, to stir up many worthy princes, I cannot forget the 
worthy prince that is a Homer to himself, a golden spur to nobility, 
a sceptre to virtue, a verdure to the spring, a sun to the day ; and 
that not only translated the two divine poems of Salustius du Bar- 
tas, his heavenly Urania, and his Hellish Furies, but hath read a 
most valorous martial lecture unto himself in his own victorious 
Lepanto, a short but heroical work, in metre, but royal metre, fit 
for David's harp. Lepanto, first the glory of Christendom against 
the Turk, and now the garland of a sovereign crown. When 
young kings have such a care of their flourishing prime, and, like 
Cato, are ready to render an account of their vacant hours, as if 
April were their July, and May their August, how should gentle- 
men of years employ the golden talent of their industry and travel ? 
with what fervency, with what vigour, with what zeal, with what 
incessant and indefatigable endeavour ? Fie upon fooleries ; there 
be honourable works to do, and notable works to read. The afore- 
named Bartas (whom elsewhere I have styled the treasurer of hu- 
manity, and the jeweller of divinity), for the highness of his subject, 
and the majesty of his verse, nothing inferior unto Dante (whom 
some Italians prefer before Virgil or Homer), a right inspired and 
enravished poet, full of chosen, grave, profound, venerable, and 
stately matter, even in the next degree to the sacred and reverend 
style of heavenly Divinity itself. In a manner the only poet, whom 
Urania hath vouchsafed to laureate with her own heavenly hand ; 
and worthy to be alleged of divines and counsellors, as Homer is 
quoted of philosophers and orators. Many of his solemn verses 
are oracles ; and one Bartas, that is, one French Solomon, more 
weighty in stern and mighty counsel, than the seven sages of Greece. 
Never more beauty in vulgar languages ; but his style addeth fa- 
vour and grace to beauty, and, in a goodly body, representeth a 
puissant soul. How few verses carry such a personage of state? or 

how few arguments such a spirit of majesty ? Or where is the divine 
instinct that can sufficiently commend such a volume of celestial 
inspiration ? What a judgment hath the noble youth, the harvest of 
the spring, the sap of Apollo's tree, the diadem of the Muses, that 
leaveth the enticingest flowers of delight, to reap the maturest fruits 
of wisdom ? 

Happy plants, that speedily shew forth their generous nature ; 
and a sovereign good possesseth those worthy minds, that suffer 
not their affections to be inveigled or entangled Avith any un- 
worthy thought. Great exercises become great personages ; as the 
magnet approveth his nobility in commanding iron and taming 
the sea : baser or meaner pastimes belong unto meaner persons ; 
as jet discovereth his gentry in drawing chaff, hairs, and such 
trifles. A meet quality for jet, or a pretty feat for amber, to 
juggle chaff, festues, or the like weighty burdens ; but excellent 
minds are employed like the noble Magnes, and ever conversant 
either in effecting, or in pursuing, or in penning excellent works. 

It were an impossible attempt to do right unto the great 
captain, Monsieur de la Noe, and the brave soldier, the French 
king himself, two terrible thunderbolts of war, and two impetuous 
whirlwinds of the field, Avhose writings are like their actions, a reso- 
lute, effectual, valiant, politic, vigorous, full of aery and fiery spirit, 
honourable, renowned wheresoever valour hath a mouth or virtue a 
pen. Could the warly horse speak, as he can run and fight, he 
would tell them they are hot knights ; and could the bloody sword 
write, as it can shear, it would dedicate a volume of fury unto the 
one, and a monument of victory unto the other. Albeit, men should 
be malicious or forgetful, (spite is malicious, and ingratitude forget- 
ful) yet prowess hath a cloven tongue, and teacheth admiration, in 
fiery language, to plead the glorious honour of improved valiancy. 

Some accuse their destiny; -but blessed key that openeth such 
locks, and lucky, most lucky fortune, that yieldeth such virtue. 


Brave chivalry, a continual witness of their valour and terribility 
in war ; and gallant industry, the daily bread of their life in peace 
or truce. Report, shining Sun, the day's work of the king, and 
burning Candle, relate his night's study ; and both rid me of an 
endless labour ; for who ever praised the wonders of heaven ? 

And what an infinite course were it, to run through the par- 
ticular commendations of the famous redoubted actors, or the 
notable pregnant Avriters of this age, even in the most puissant 
heroical, and Argonautical kind ? 

Nimble Entelechy hath been a stranger in some countries ; 
albeit, a renowned citizen of Greece, and a free denizen of Italy, 
Spain, France, and Germany ; but welcome the most natural in- 
habitant of the world ; the sail of the ship, the flight of the bow, 
the shot of the gun, the wing of the eagle, the quintessence of the 
mind, the course of the sun, the motion of the heavens, the influence 
of the stars, the heat of the fire, the lightness of the air, the swift- 
ness of the wind, the stream of the water, the fruitfulness of the 
earth, the singularity of this age ; and thank thy most vigorous self 
for so many precious works of divine fury and powerable conse- 
quence, respectively comparable with the richest treasuries and 
bravest armories of antiquity. Thrice happy, or rather a thousand 
times happy creature, that with most advantage of all honourable 
opportunities, and with the extremest possibility of his whole 
powers, inward or outward, employeth the most excellent excel- 
lency of human or divine nature. 

Other secrets of nature and art deserve an high reputation in 
their several degrees, and may challenge a sovereign entertainment 
in their special kinds ; but Entelechy is the mystery of mysteries 
under heaven, and the head-spring of the powerfullest virtues that 
divinity infuseth, humanity embraceth, philosopl^ admireth, wis- 
dom practiseth, industry irnproveth, valour extendeth ; or he con- 
ceived, that conceiving the wonderful faculties of the mind, and 


astonished with the incredible force of a ravished and enthusiastical 
spirit, in a profound contemplation of that elevate and transcendent 
capacity, (as it were a deep ecstasy or seraphical vision,) most pa- 
thetically cried out, O magnum miraculum Homo. No marvel, O great 
miracle ! and oh, most powerful Entelechy ! though thou seemest a 
pilgrim to Dametas, that art the familiar spirit of Musidorus ; and 
what wonder, though he impeach thy estimation, that despiseth the 
graces of God, flouteth the constellations of heaven, frumpeth the 
operations of nature, mocketh the effectualest and availablest arts, 
disdaineth the name of industry or honesty, scorneth whatsoever 
may appear virtuous, fawneth only upon his own conceits, claweth 
only his own favourites, and quippeth, bourdeth, girdeth, asseth the 
excellentest writers of whatsoever note, that tickle not his wanton 
sense. Nothing memorable or remarkable with him, that feasteth 
not the riotous appetite of the ribald, or the humorous conceit of 
the phantast. It is his S. Fame, to be the infamy of learning ; his re- 
formation, to be the corruption of his reader; his felicity, to be the 
misery of youth ; his health, to be the scurf of the city, the scab 
of the university, the bile of the realm ; his salvation, to be the 
damnation of whatsoever is termed good or accounted honest. 

Sweet gentlemen and flourishing youths, ever aim at the right 
line of art and virtue ; of the one for knowledge, of the other for 
valour ; and let the crooked rectify itself. Resolution wandereth not 
like an ignorant traveller, but in every enterprise, in every affair, in 
every study, in every cogitation, levelleth at some certainty ; and 
always hath an eye to use, an ear to good report, a regard to Avorth, 
a respect to assurance, and a reference to the end. He that erreth, 
erreth against truth and himself; and he that sinneth, sinneth 
against God and himself: he is none of my charge; it sufficeth me 
to be the curate of mine own actions, the master of mine own pas- 
sions, the friend of my friends, the pitier of my enemies, the lover 
of good wits and honest minds, the affectionate servant of arts and 


virtues, the humble orator of noble valour, the commender of the 
foresaid honourable writings, or any commendable works. 

Reason is no man's tyrant, and duty every man's vassal that 
deserveth well. Would this pen were worthy to be the slave of the 
Avorthiest actors, or the bondman of the above mentioned, and the 
like important authors. Such mercurial and martial discourses in 
the active and chivalrous vein, plead their own eternal honour, and 
write everlasting shame in the forehead of a thousand frivolous, and 
ten thousand phantastical pamphlets. I would to Christ some of 
them were but idle toys, or vain trifles ; but impurity never pre- 
sumed so much of impunities ; and licentious folly by privilege, 
lewd ribaldry by permission, and rank villany by connivance, are 
become famous authors ; not in a popular state, or a petty princi- 
pality, but in a sovereign monarchy, that tendereth politic govern- 
ment, and is to fortify itself against foreign hostility. 

If wisdom say not, fie, for shame ; authority take not other 
order in convenient time ; who can tell what general plague may 
ensue of a special infection ? or when the king's evil is past cure, 
who can say, AVC Avill noAV heal it ? The baddest Aveed groAveth fast- 
est ; and no gangrene so pregnantly dispreadeth as riot. And Avhat 
riot so pestiferous as that Avhich in sugared baits presenteth most 
poisonous hooks ? Sir Skelton and Master Scoggin were but inno- 
cents to Sigriior Capricio and Monsieur Madness ; whose pestilent 
canker scorneth all the medicine of earth or heaven. 

My Avriting is but a private note for the public advertisement 
of some few ; whose youth asketh instruction, and Avhose frailty 
needeth admonition. In the cure of a canker it is a general rule 
with surgeons, it never perfectly healeth, unless the roots and all 
be utterly extirped, and the flesh regenerate. But the soundest 
principle is, principiis obsta; and it goeth best with them that never 
kneAv Avhat a canker or leper meant. 

I still hoped for some grafts of better fruit; but this grand 
confuter of my letters, and all honesty, still proceedeth from Averse 


to worse, from the wilding tree to the withy, from the dog to the 
goat, from the cat to the swine, from Primrose Hill to Colman 
Hedge ; and is so rooted in deep vanity, that there is no end of his 
profound folly. Which deserveth a more famous encomiastical 
oration, than Erasmus' renowned Folly; and more gloriously dis- 
daineth any cure than the gout. I may answer his hot raving in 
cold terms ; and convince him of what notorious falsehood or vil- 
lany I can. But see the frank spirit of a full stomach; and who 
ever was so parlously matched? Were not my simplicity, or his 
omnisufficiency exceeding great, I had never been thus terribly 
over challenged. Gabriel^ if there be any wit or industry in thee, 
now I will dare it to the uttermost; write of what thou wilt, in what 
language thou wilt, and I will confute it, and answer it. Take truth's 
part, and I will prove truth to be no truth, marching out of thy dung- 
voiding mouth; and so forth, in the braving tenor of the same 
redoubtable style. 

Good gentlemen, you see the sweet disposition of the man, 
and need no other window into the closet of his conscience but his 
own gloss upon his own text. Whatsoever poor I say in any mat- 
ter, or in any language, albeit truth aver, and justice the same, he 
will flatly deny and confute, even because I say it; and only be- 
cause in a frolic and doughty jollity he will have the last word of 
me. His grammar is his catechism; Si ais, nego; his stomach his 
dictionary in any language ; and his quarrel his logic in any argu- 
ment. Lucian, Julian, Aretine, I protest were you ought else but 
abominable Atheists, that I would obstinately defend you, only because 
Laureat Gabriel articles against you. Were there not otherwise a 
marvellous odds, and incomprehensible difference betwixt our abili- 
ties, he would never dare me, like a bold pandar, with such stout 
challenges and glorious protestations. But singular wits have a 
great advantage of simple men ; and cunning Falsehood is a mighty 
confuter of plain Truth. 

No such champion as he that fighteth obstinately with the target 


of Confidence, and the long sword of Impudence. If any thing ex- 
traordinarily improveth valour, it is Confidence ; and if any thing 
miraculously singulariseth wit, it is Impudence. Distrust is a na- 
tural fool, and Modesty an artificial fool; he that will exploit 
wonderments, and carry all before him, like a sweepstake, must 
have a heart of iron, a forehead of brass, and a tongue of adamant. 
Pelting circumstances mar brave executions : look into the pro- 
ceedings of the greatest doers, and what are they more than other 
men but audacity and fortune? 

Audendum est aliquid, Hindis, et carcere dignum, 
Si vis esse aliquid. 

Simplicity may have a guess at the principles of the world, and Nash 
affecteth to seem a compound of such elements ; as bold as eager, 
and as eager as a mad dog. He will confute me, because he will ; 
and he can conquer me, because he can. If I come upon him with a 
gentle reply, he will welcome me with a fierce rejoinder; for any my 
brief triplication, he will provide a quadruplication, at large ; and 
so forth, in infinitum, with an undauntable courage ; for he sweareth 
he will never leave me as long as he is able to lift a pen. Twenty 
such famous depositions proclaim his doughty resolution and inde- 
fatigable hand at a pight field. Were I to begin again, or could I 
handsomely devise to give him the cleanly slip, I would never deal 
with a Sprite of Coleman-hedge, or a May lord of Primrose-hill ; 
that hath all humours in his livery, and can put Conscience in a 
Vice's coat. Nay, he will achieve impossibilities ; and, in contempt 
of my simplicity, prove truth a counterfeit, and himself a true wit- 
ness of falsest lies. But Lord, that so invincible a gentleman 
should make so solemn account of confuting and re-confuting a 
person of so little worth in his valuation ? Sweet man, what should 
you think of troubling yourself with so tedious a course, when you 
might so blithely have taken a quicker order, and may yet proceed 
more compendiously ? It had been a worthy exploit, and beseem- 


'.- 74 

ing a wit of Supererogation, to have dipped a sop in a goblet of 
Rhenish wine, and naming it Gabriel, (for you are now grown into 
great familiarity with that name) to have devoured him up at one 
bit ; or taking a pickle-herring by the throat and christening it 
Richard, (for you can christen him at your pleasure), to have swal- 
lowed him down with a stomach. 

Did you never hear of detestable Jews, that made a picture of 
Christ, and then buffetted, cudgelled, scourged, crucified, stabbed, 
pierced, and mangled the same most unmercifully ? NOAV you have 
a pattern, I doubt not but you can with a dexterity chop off the 
head of a dead honey-bee, and boast you have stricken John as 
dead as a door nail. Other spoil or victory (by the leave of the 
foresaid redoubted daring) will prove a busy piece of work for the 
son of a mule, a raw grammarian, a brabbling sophister, a counterfeit 
crank, a stale rakehell, a piperly rhymer, a stump-worn railer, a 
dodkin author ; whose two swords are like the horns of an hod- 
mandod ; whose courage, like the fury of a gad-bee ; and whose 
surmounting bravery, like the wings of a butterfly. I take no plea- 
sure to call thee an Ass ; but thou provest thyself a haddock : and 
although I say not thou art a fool, yet thou wilt needs bewray thy 
diet, and disgorge thy stomach of the lobster and cod's head where- 
with thou didst englut thyself, since thy notorious surfeit of pickle- 
herring and dog-fish. Thou art neither Dorbell, nor Duns, nor 
Thomas of Aquine; they were three sharp-edged and quick-scented 
schoolmen, full of nimble wit and intricate quiddities, in their argu- 
ing kind, especially Duns and Thomas; but by some of thy cavilling 
ergos thou shouldst seem to be the spawn of Javell, or Tartaret, 
and as very a crabfish at an ergo, as ever crawled over Carter's 
Logic, or the posteriorums of Johannes de Lapide. 

When I look upon thy first page (as I daily behold that terrible 
impress for a recreation), still methinks there should come flushing 
out the great Atlas of logic and astronomy, that supported the orbs 

of the heavens by art, or the mighty Hercules of rhetoric and poetry, 
that with certain marvellous fine and delicate chains drew after him 
the vassals of the world by the ears. But examine his subtlest 
ergos, and taste his nappiest invention, or daintiest elocution (he 
that hath nothing else to do may hold himself occupied) ; and Art 
will soon find the huge Behemoth of conceit to be the sprat of a 
pickle-herring, and the hideous Leviathan of vain-glory to be a 
shrimp in wit, a periwinkle in art, a dandiprat in industry, a dod- 
kin in value, and such a toy of toys as every right scholar hisseth 
at in judgment, and every fine gentleman maketh the object of his 
scorn. He can rail (what mad bedlam cannot rail ?) but the savour 
of his railing is grossly fell, and smelleth noisomely of the pump, or 
a nastier thing. His gayest flourishes are but Gascoigne's weeds, 
or Tarleton's tricks, or Greene's cranks, or Marlowe's bravadoes ; his 
jests but the dregs of common scurrility, or the shreds of the theatre, 
or the off-scouring of new pamphlets ; his freshest nippitatie but the 
froth of stale inventions, long since loathsome to quick tastes ; his 
shroving ware, but Lenten Stuff, like the old pickle-herring ; his 
lustiest verdure, but rank ordure, not to be named in civility or 
rhetoric : his only art, and the vengeable drift of his whole cunning, 
to mangle my sentences, hack my arguments, chop and change my 
phrases, wrench my words, and hail every syllable most extremely, 
even to the disjointing and maiming of my whole meaning. O times ! 
O pastimes ! O monstrous knavery ! The residue whatsoever hath 
nothing more in it than is usually in every ruffianly copesmate that 
hath been a grammar scholar, readeth riotous books, haunteth 
roisterly company, delighteth in rude scoffing, and carrieth a 
desperate mind. 

Let him be thoroughly perused by any indifferent reader whom- 
soever, that can judiciously discern what is what, and will uprightly 
censure him according to his skill, without partiality, pro or contra; 
and I dare undertake he will affirm no less, upon the credit of his 

76 ; ....,-. - _; 

judgment, but will definitively pronounce him the very baggage of 
new writers. I could nominate the person, that, under his hand- 
writing, has styled him, The cockish challenger, the lewd scribbler, 
the offal of corruptest mouths, the draff of filthiest pens, the bag- 
pudding of fools, and the very pudding-pits of the wise or honest. 
He might have read of four notable things, which many a jolly man 
weeneth he hath at will, when he hath nothing less : much know- 
ledge, sound wisdom, great power, and many friends. And he 
might have heard of other four special things, that work the destruc- 
tion or confusion of the forwardest practitioners : a headlong desire 
to know much hastily, a greedy thirst to have much suddenly, an 
overweening conceit of themselves, and a surly contempt of other. 
I could, peradventure, read him his fortune in a fatal book, as 
verifiable as peremptory ; but I love not to insult upon misery, and 
destiny is a judge whose sentence needeth no other execution but 
itself; no prevention but deep repentance ; an impossible remedy 
where deep Obstinacy is grounded, and high Presumption aspireth 
above the moon. Haughty minds may stye aloft, and hasten their 
own overthrow ; but it is not the wainscot forehead of a Rudhuddi- 
bras, that can arrear such an huge opinion, as himself in a strong 
conceit of a mighty conception seemeth to travel withal ; as it were 
with a flying Bladud attempting wonderments in the air, or a Simon 
Magus experimenting impossibilities from the top of the Capitol. 
He must either accomplish some greater work of Supererogation 
with actual achievement (that is now a principal point), or immor- 
talize himself the proudest vain sot that ever abused the world with 
foppish ostentation ; not in one or two pages, but in the first, the 
last, and every leaf of his Strange News. For the end is like the 
beginning, the midst like both, and every part like the whole. 
Railing, railing, railing ; bragging, bragging, bragging ; and nothing 
else, but foul railing upon railing, and vain bragging upon bragging ; 
as rudely, grossly, odiously, filthily, beastly, as ever shamed print. 

n .. , 

Unless he meant to set up a railing school, and to read a public 
lecture of bragging as the only regal professor of that, and that 
faculty, now other shifts begin to fail, I wonder his own mouth can 
abide it without many a pha ! You have heard some worthy pre- 
mises, behold a brave conclusion : 

Await the world, the tragedy of wrath : 

What next I paint, shall tread no common path: 

with another double aut for a gallant emblem, or a glorious farewel : 
Aut nunquam tentes, aut perfice: subscribed, with his own hand, 
THOMAS NASH. Not expect, or attend, but a wait; not some few, 
or the city, or the university, or this land, or Europe, but the world; 
not a comedy, or a declamation, or an invective, or a satire, or any 
like Elenctical discourse, but a tragedy, and the very tragedy of 
Wrath, that shall dash the direfullest tragedies of Seneca, Euripides, 
or Sophocles, out of conceit. The next piece, not of his rhetoric, or 
poetry, but of his painture, shall not tread the way to Paules, or 
Westminster, or the Royal Exchange, but at least shall perfect the 
Venus' face of Apelles, or set the world an everlasting sample of 
inimitable artificiality. 

Other men's writing, in prose or verse, may plod on as before, 
but his painting will now tread a rare path, and, by the way, bestow 
a new lesson upon rhetoric, how to continue a metaphor, or uphold 
an allegory with advantage. The treading of that rare path, by 
that exquisite painting (his works are miracles; and his painting 
can tread, like his dancing, or frisking, no common, but a proper 
path) : who expecteth not with an attentive, a serviceable, a covet- 
ous, a longing expectation? Await world: and Apelles tender 
thy most affectionate devotion to learn a wonderful piece of curious 
workmanship, when it shall please his next painting to tread the 
path of his most singular singularity. 

Meanwhile it hath pleased some sweet wits of my acquaintance 
(whom heaven hath baptized the spirits of harmony, and the Muses 

. , 78 

have entertained for their paramours) to reacquit sonnets with son- 
nets, and to snib the Thrasonical rhymster with angelical metre, that 
may happily appear in fit place, and finely discover young Apuleius 
in his ramping robe ; the fourth Fury in his tragical pageant, the 
new sprite in his proper haunt or buttery, and the confuting Devil 
in the horologe. One she, and two he's, have vowed they will 
pump his railing inkhorn as dry as ever was Holborn conduit ; and 
squeeze his cracking quill to as empty a spunge as any in Hosier 

Which of you, gallant gentlemen, hath not stript his stale jests 
into their threadbare rags, or so seldom as an hundred times pitied 
his crest-fallen style, and his socket-worn invention ? Who would 
have thought, or could have imagined, to have found the wit of 
PIERCE so starved and clunged, the conceit of an adversary so 
weatherbeaten and tired, the learning of a scholar so pore-blind and 
lame, the elocution of the devil's orator so lank, so wan, so meagre, 
so blunt, so dull, so foredead, so ghastly, where the masculine Fury 
meant to play his grisliest and horriblest part? Well fare a good 
visage in a bad cause ; or farewell hope, the kindest cozener of for- 
lorn hearts. The desperate mind, that assayeth impossibilities in 
art, must be content to speed thereafter. 

When every attempt faileth in performance, and every ex- 
tremity foileth the enterpriser, at last even impudency itself must 
be fain to give over in the plain field, and never yield credit to the 
word of that most credible gentlewoman, if the very brazen buckler 
prove not finally a notorious D&sh-Nash. He summed all in a brief 
but a material sum, that called the old Ass the great A, and the 
est-Amen of the new Supererogation. And were I here compelled to 
dispatch abruptly, as I am presently called to a more commodious 
exercise, should I not sufficiently have discharged my task, and 
plentifully have commended that famous creature, whose praise the 
title of this pamphlet professeth ? He that would honour Alexander, 


may crown him the great A. of puissance; but Pyrrhus, Hannibal, 
Scipio, Pompey, Caesar, divers other mighty conquerors, and even 
some modern worthies, would disdain to have him sceptred the est- 
Anien of valour. 

What a brave and incomparable Alexander is that great A. 
that is also the est-Amen of Supererogation : a more miraculous and 
impossible piece of work than the doughtiest puissance, or worthiest 
valour, in the old or new world ? Shall I say blessed or peerless 
young Apuleius, that from the swathing bands of his infancy in print, 
was suckled of the sweetest nurses, lulled of the dearest grooms, 
cockered of the finest minions, cowled of the daintiest paramours, 
hugged of the enticingest darlings, and more than tenderly ten- 
dered of the most delicious Muses, the most amiable Graces, and the 
most powerful Virtues of the said unmatchable great A. the grand 
founder of Supererogation, and sole patron of such meritorious 
clients. As for other remarkable particulars in the Strange News, 
ink is so like ink, spite so like spite, im pudency so like impudency, 
brokage so like brokage, and Tom Penniless now so like Pap-hatchet, 
when the time was, that I need but overrun an old censure of the one, 
by way of a new application to the other. The notes of Martinisme 
appertain unto those whom they concern. Pierce would laugh to 
be charged with Martinisme, or any religion, though Martin him- 
self, for a challenging, ruffling, and railing style, not such a Martin. 
Two contraries, but two such contraries as can teach extremities to 
play the contraries, and to confound themselves. 

Pap-hatchet, desirous, for his benefit, to curry favour with a 
noble Earl, and, in defect of other means of commendation, labour- 
ing to insinuate himself by smooth glosing, and counterfeit sug- 
gestions (it is a courtly feat to snatch the least occasionet of advan- 
tage with a nimble dexterity), some years since provoked me to 
make the best of it, inconsiderately ; to speak like a friend, un- 
friendly ; to say, as it was, intolerably, without private cause, or 


any reason in the world (for in truth I loved him, in hope praised 
him, many ways favoured him, and never any way offended him) ; 
and notwithstanding that spiteful provocation, and even that odious 
threatening of ten years provision, he had ever passed untouched 
with any syllable of revenge in print, had not Greene and his dog- 
fish abominably misused the verb passive, as should appear by his 
procurement or encouragement, assuredly most undeserved, and 
most injurious. For what other quarrel could Greene or this dog- 
fish ever pick with me, whom I never so much as twitched by the 
sleeve, before I found myself and my dearest friends insufferably 
quipped in most contumelious and opprobrious terms. But now 
there is no remedy, have amongst you, blind harpers of the print- 
ing-house, for I fear not six hundred crowders, were all your wits 
assembled in one cap of vanity, or all your galls united in one 
bladder of choler ! I have lost more labour than the transcripting 
of this censure, which I dedicate neither to lord nor lady, but to 
Truth and Equity, on whose sovereign patronage I rely. 



PAP-HATCHET (for the name of thy good nature is pitifully 
grown out of request), thy old acquaintance in the Savoy, when 
young Euphues hatched the eggs that his. elder friends laid (surely 
Eupheus was someway a pretty fellow : would God, Lilly had always 
been Euphues, and never Pap-hatchet), that old acquaintance, now 
somewhat strangely saluted with a new remembrance, is neither 
lullabied with thy sweet Pap, or scare-crowed with thy sour Hatchet. 
And although in self-conceit thou knowest not thyself, yet in ex- 
perience thou mightst have known him that can unbutton thy 
vanity, and unlace thy folly ; but in pity spareth thy childish sim- 
plicity, that in judgment scorneth thy roisterly bravery, and never 
thought so basely of thee as since thou begannest to disguise thy 
wit, and disgrace thy art with ruffianly foolery. He winneth not 
most abroad, that weeneth most at home ; and, in my poor fancy, 
it were not greatly amiss, even for the pertest and gayest com- 
panions (notwithstanding whatsoever courtly holy water, or plausible 
hopes of preferment) to deign their old familiars the continuance 
of their former courtesies, without contempt of the barrenest gifts, 
or impeachment of the meanest persons. The simplest man in a 
parish is a shrewd fool ; and humanity an image of divinity, that 
pulleth down the haughty, and setteth up the meek. Euphues, it 
is good to be merry ; and Lilly, it is good to be wise ; and Pap- 
hatchet, it is better to lose a new jest than an old friend ; that can 



cram the capon with his own pap, and hew down the woodcock 
with his own hatchet. 

Bold men and merchant-venturers have some time good luck ; 
but hap-hazard hath oftentimes good leave to beshrew his own pate, 
and to embark the hardy fool in the famous Ship of wise men. I 
cannot stand nosing of candlesticks, or Euphuing of similies, alia 
Savoica: it might happily be done with a trice : but every man hath 
not the gift of Albertus Magnus: rare birds are dainty, and they 
are queint creatures that are privileged to create new creatures. 
When I have a mint of precious stones, and strange fowls, beasts, 
and fishes, of mine own coining (I could name the party, that, in 
comparison of his own natural inventions, termed Pliny a barren 
womb), I may, peradventure, bless you with your own crosses, and 
pay you with the usury of your own coin. In the meanwhile bear 
with a plain man, as plain as old Accursius, or Bart hoi de Saxo- 
ferrato, that will make his censure good upon the carrion of thy 
unsavoury and stinking pamphlet; a fit book to be joined with 
Scoggin's works, or the French Mirror of Madness. The very 
title discovereth the wisdom of the young man, as an old fox not 
long since bewrayed himself by the flap of his tail ; and a lion, they 
say, is soon descried by his paw, a cock by his comb, a goat by 
his beard, an ass by his ear, a wise man by his tale, an artist by his 

Pap with an Hatchet ; alias, a Fig for my Godson; 

or, crack me this Nut; or, a country Cuff; 

that is, a sound Box of the Ear, et catera. 

Written by one that dares call a Dog a Dog. 

Imprinted by John Anoke, and John Astile,for the Bayly 

of Withernam. Cum privilegio perennitatis. 
And are to be sold at the sign of the Crab-tree Cudgel in 

Thwack-coat Lane. 


What devise of Martin, or what invention of any other, could 
have set a fairer oriental star upon the forehead of that foul libel ! 
Now you see the brand, and know the blackamore by his face, turn 
over the leaf, and by the witness of his first sentence aim at the rest. 
Milk is like milk, honey like honey, Pap like pap, and he like him- 
self: in the whole a notable ruffler, and in every part a doughty 
braggard. Room for a roister; so, that's well said; itch a little 
further for a good fellow : now have at you all, my gaffers of the rail- 
ing religion ; 'tis I that must take you a peg lower. He makes such a 
splinter run into your wits : and so forth, in the same lusty tenour. 
A very artificial beginning to move attention, or to procure good 
liking in the reader, unless he wrote only to roister-doisters, and 
hacksters, or at least to jesters and vices. Oh, but in his preamble 
to the indifferent reader, he approveth himself a marvellous discreet 
and modest man, of the soberest sort, were he not provoked in 
conscience to answer contrary to his nature and manner. You 
may see how grave men may be made light to defend the church. 
I perceive they were wise, that, at riotous times, when youth was 
wantonest, and knavery lustiest, as in Christmas, at Shrovetide, in 
May, at the end of harvest, and by such wild fits, created a certain 
extraordinary officer, called a Lord of Misrule, as a needful governor 
or dictator, to set things in order, and to rule unruly people, with 
whom otherwise there were no Ho ! So, when Revel-rout beginneth 
to be a current author, or Hurly-burly a busy promoter, room for a 
roister, that will bore them through the noses with a cushion, that 
will bung up their mouths with a collyrium of all the stale jests in 
a country, that will suffer none to play the Rex but. himself. For 
that is the very depth of his plot ; and who ever began with more 
roisterly terms, or proceeded with more ruffianly scoffs, or concluded 
with more hair-brained tricks, or wearied his reader with more 
thread-bare jests, or tired himself with more weather-beaten cranks? 
What scholar, or gentleman, can read such alehouse and tinkerly 
stuff without blushing ? 


They were much deceived in him at Oxford and in the Savoy, 
when Master Absalon lived, that took him only for a dapper and 
deft companion, or a pert conceited youth, that had gathered to- 
gether a few pretty sentences, and could handsomely help young 
Euphues to an old simile, and never thought him any such mighty 
doer at the sharp. Bur I'le, Tic, I'le, is a parlous fellow at a 
hatchet; he's like death, he'll spare none; he'll show them an Irish 
trick; he'll make them weep Irish; he's good at the sticking blow; 
his posie, zvliat care I? Vie stabs, good ecclesiastical learning in 
his Apology, and good Christian charity in his Homily. Muster his 
arrant braveries together, and where such a terrible kill-cow, or such 
a vengeable bull-beggar, to deal withal ? O dreadful double V, 
that earnest the double stoccado in thy pen, what a double stab- 
ber wouldst thou be, were thy hands as tall a fellow as thy heart, 
or thy wits as lusty a lad as thy mind ? Other good fellows may 
tell tales of Gawin : thou art Sir Gawin revived, or rather terror in- 
person. Yet shall I put a bean into Gawin's rattling scull, and tell 
thee where thy slashing long sword cometh short ? Thou professest 
railing, and ernprovest thyself in very deed an egregious railer, as 
disdaining to yield unto any he or she scold of this age. But what 
saith my particular analysis ? Double V is old excellent at his cornu- 
copia; and I warrant you never to seek in his horn-book, but debar 
those same whoreson tales of a tub, and put him beside his horning, 
gaming, fooling, and knaving, and he is nobody but a few .pilfered 
similies, a little pedantical Latin ; and the highest pitch of his wit 
bull's motion, alias the hangman's apron. His rhyme, forestalled by 
Elderton, that hath ballads lying a-steep in ale; his reason, by a 
Cambridge wag, a twigging sophister, that will ergo Martin into an 
ague, and concludeth peremptorily : therefore Tyburn must be 
furred with Martins. Nothing left for the third disputer, but railing 
through all the moods and figures of knavery, as they come fresh 
and fresh to his hand. All three jump in eodem tertio: nothing but 
a certain exercise termed hanging will serve their turn: (if it be his 


destiny, what remedy ?) they must draw cuts who shall play the 
hangman ; and that is the argument of the tragedy, and the very 
pap of the hatchet. These are yet all the common places of his 
great paper book, and the whole inventory of his wit, though in 
time he may haply learn to play at nine-hole nidgets, or to canvas 
a livery flowt through all the predicaments of the four and twenty 

When I first took a glancing view of I'le, 1'le, Fie, and durst 
scarcely be so hardy to look the hatchet in the face, methought his 
imagination was headed like a Saracen, his stomach bellied like the 
great globe of Orontius, and his breath like the blast of Boreas in 
the great map of Mercator. But when we began to renew our old 
acquaintance, and to shake the hands of discontinued familiarity, 
alas, good gentleman ! his mandillion w T as over-cropped, his wit 
paunched like his wife's spindle, his art shanked like a lath, his 
conceit as lank as a shotten herring, and that same blustering elo- 
quence, as bleak and wan as the picture of a forlorn lover. Nothing 
but pure mamrnaday, and a few morsels of fly-blown Euphuisme, 
somewhat nicely minced for puling stomachs. But there be painters 
enough, though I go roundly to work ; and it is my only purpose 
to speak to the purpose. I long since found by experience, how 
Dranting of verses, and Euphuing of sentences, did edify. But 
had I consulted with the prognostication of John Securis, I might, 
peradventure, have saved some loose ends for afterclaps : now his 
nephew Hatchet must be content to accept of such spare entertain- 
ment as he findeth. 

It was Martin's folly to begin that cutting vein : some other's 
oversight to continue it, and double V's triumph to set it agog. If 
the world should applaud to such roister-doisterly vanity (as Im- 
pudency hath been prettily suffered to set up the crest of his vain- 
glory), what good could grow of it, but to make every man mad- 
brained and desperate ; but a general contempt of all good order in 

saying or doing ; but an universal topsy-turvy ? He were a very 
simple orator, a more simple politician, and a most simple divine, 
that should favour Martinizing ; but had I been Martin (as for a 
time I was vainly suspected by such mad copesmates, that can sur- 
mise any thing for their purpose, howsoever unlikely or monstrous), 
I would have been so far from being moved by such a fantastical 
confuter, that it should have been one of my May -games, or August- 
triumphs, to have driven officials, commissaries, archdeacons, deans, 
chancellors, suffragans, bishops, and archbishops (so Martin would 
have flourished at the least), to entertain such an odd light-headed 
fellow for their defence ; a professed jester, a hick-scorner, a scoff- 
master, a play-monger, an interluder ; once the foil of Oxford, now 
the stale of London, and ever the apes-clog of the press, Cum privi- 
legio perennitatis. 

Had it not been a better course to have followed Aristotle's 
doctrine, and to have confuted levity with gravity, vanity with 
discretion, rashness with advice, madness with sobriety, fire with 
water, ridiculous Martin with reverend Cooper? especially in eccle- 
siastical causes, where it goeth hard, when Scoggin, the jovial fool, 
or Skelton, the melancholy fool, or Elderton, the bibbing fool, 
or Will Sommer, the choleric fool, must play the feat; and church 
matters cannot be discussed without rank scurrility, and, as it were, 
a synod of diapason fools. Some few have a civil pleasant vein, 
and a dainty spleen without scandal : some such, percase, might 
have repayed the Mar-prelate home to good purpose : other ob- 
scenity or vanity confuteth itself, and impeacheth the cause. As 
good forbear an irregular fool, as bear a fool heteroclital ; and 
better abide a comparative knave that pretendeth religion, than 
suffer a knave superlative, that setteth cock on hoop. Serious 
matters would be handled seriously, not upon simplicity, but upon 
choice ; nor to flesh or animate, but to disgrace and shame levity. 
A glicking pro, and a frumping contra, shall have much ado to shake 


hands in the ergo. There is no end of girds and bobs : it is sound 
arguments, and grounded authorities, that must strike the definitive 
stroke, and decide the controversy, with mutual satisfaction. Martin, 
be wise, though Browne were a fool ; and, Pap-hatchet, be honest, 
though Barrow be a knave : it is not your heaving or hoising coil, 
that buildeth up the walls of the temple. Alas ! poor, miserable, 
desolate, most woeful Church, had it no other builders but such 
architects of their own fantasies, and such masons of infinite con- 
tradiction ! Time, informed by secret intelligence, or resolved by 
curious discovery, spareth no cost or travel, to prevent mischief; 
but employeth her two worthy generals, Knowledge and Industry, 
to clear the coast of vagrant errors in doctrine, and to scour the 
sea of roving corruptions in discipline. 

Rome was not reared up in one day, nor cannot be pulled 
down in one day. A perfect ecclesiastical discipline, or authentic 
policy of the church (that may avow I have neither more nor less 
than enough, but just the number, weight, and measure, of exact 
government) is not the work of one man whosoever, or of one age 
whatsoever ; it requireth an incredible great judgment, exceeding 
much reading in ecclesiastical histories, councils, decrees, laws, long 
and ripe practice in church causes. Platforms offer themselves to 
every working conceit, and a few tables or abridgments are soon 
dispatched; but, whatsoever pretext may colourably be alleged, 
undoubtedly they attempt they know not what, and enterprise 
above the possibility of their reach, that imagine they can, in a 
pamphlet or two, contrive such an omni-sufficient and incorruptible 
method of ecclesiastical governments, as could not by any private 
meditation, or public occasion, be found out, with the study or 
practice of fifteen hundred years. 

I am not to dispute as a professed divine, or to determine as 
a severe censor ; but a scholar may deliver his opinion with reason, 
and a friend may lend his advice at occasion, especially when he is 


urged to speak, or suspected for silence. They must licence me to 
dissent from them that authorise themselves to disagree from so 
many notable and worthy men in the common reputation of so 
long a space. They condemn superstitious and credulous sim- 
plicity : it were a fond simplicity to defend it where it swerveth 
from the truth, or strayeth out of the way : but discretion can as 
little commend opiniative and prejudicate assertions, that strive for 
a needless and dangerous innovation. It is neither the excess nor 
the defect, but the mean that edifieth. Plato comparing Aristotle 
and Xenocrates together : Xenocrates, quoth he, needeth a spur ; 
Aristotle, a bridle. And if princes or parliaments want a goad, may 
not subjects or admonitions want a snaffle ? Is there pretence for 
liberty to advise the wisest, or for zeal to prick forward the highest : 
and no reason for prudence to curb rashness, or for authority to 
rein licentiousness ? May judgment he hoodwinked with frivolous 
traditions ; and cannot phantasy be inveigled with unfangled con- 
ceits ? Superstition and Credulity are simple creatures : but what 
are contempt and tumult ? What is the principal cause of this whole 
Numantine war but affectation of novelty without ground? If all 
without exception, from the very scholars of the primitive and 
heroical school, wanted knowledge or zeal, how rare and singular 
are their blessings, that have both in so plentiful and incomparable 
measure? Assuredly there were many excellent wits, illuminate 
minds, and devout souls, before them : if nothing matchable with 
them, what great marvel in this age? Or if they were not rightly 
disciplined, that lived so virtuously and christianly together, what 
an inestimable treasure is found, and what a clear fountain of holy 
life ? Where are godly minds become, that they embrace not that 
sacred society ? What ail religious hands, that they stay from 
building up the city of God ? Can Plato's Republic, and More's 
Utopia, win hearts, and cannot the heavenly Hierusalem conquer 
souls ? Can there be a greater impiety than to hinder the rearing- 


up of those celestial walls ? Why forgetteth the gross Church that 
it ought to be the pure kingdom of Heaven ? To zeal, even speed 
is delay, and a year an age. But how maturely and judiciously 
some busy motions have been considered upon by their hot soli- 
citors, it would not pass unexamined. A strong discipline standeth 
not upon feeble feet; and a weak foundation will never bear the 
weight of a mighty Hierusalem. The great shoulders of Atlas often- 
times shrink and faint under the great burden of heaven. The 
tabernacle of Moses, the temple of Solomon, the golden age of the 
primitive Church, and the silver regiment of Constantine, would be 
looked into, with a sharper and clearer eye. The difference of com- 
monwealths or regiments requireth a difference of laws and orders ; 
and those laws and orders are most sovereign, that are most agree- 
able to the regiment, and best proportioned to the commonwealth. 
The matter of elections and offices is a principal matter in 
question : and how many, not only ignorant or curious, but learned 
and considerate wits, have lost themselves, and found error in the 
discourse of that subject ? But how compendiously might it be 
concluded, that is so infinitely argued ; or how quietly decided, 
that is so tumultuously debated ? I rely not upon the uncertainty of 
disputable rules, or the subtlety of intricate arguments, or the am- 
biguity of doubtful allegations, or the casualty of fallible experi- 
ments ; but ground my resolution upon the assurance of such poli- 
tic and ecclesiastical principles, as in my opinion can neither be 
deceived grossly, nor deceive dangerously. Popular elections and 
offices, as well in churches as in commonwealths, are for popular 
states ; monarchies and aristocracies are to celebrate their elections 
and offices, according to their form of government, and the best 
correspondence of their states, civil and ecclesiastical ; and may 
justify their good proceeding by good divinity. As they gravely 
and religiously proved, that in the flourishing propagation and 
mighty increase of the Catholic church, under princes, before, in, 



and after the empire of Constantine, were driven to vary from some 
primitive examples, not by unlawful corruption, as is ignorantly 
surmised, but by lawful provision, according to the exigence of 
occasions, and necessity of alteration in those over-ruling cases ; as 
appeareth by pregnant evidence of ecclesiastical histories and 
canons, wherewith they are to consult that affect a deep insight in 
the decision of such controversies ; and not to leap at all adven- 
tures before they have looked about them, as well backward as 
forward, and as well of the one side as of the other. 

Consideration is a good counsellor, and reading no bad remem- 
brancer, especially in the most essential common-places of doctrine, 
and the most important matters of government. Ignorance may 
some way be the father of zeal, as it was wont to be termed the 
mother of devotion ; but blind men swallow down many flies, and 
none more than many of them that imagine they know all, and 
conceit an absolute omnisufficiency in their own platforms, with an 
universal contempt of whatsoever contradiction, special or general, 
modern or ancient ; when undoubtedly they are to seek in a thou- 
sand points of requisite and necessary consideration. Lord, that 
men should so please and flatter themselves in their own devices, 
as if none had eyes but they. 

God never bestowed his divine gifts in vain : they are not so 
lightly to be rejected, that so gravely demeaned themselves, instruct- 
ed their brethren, reclaimed infidels, converted countries, planted 
churches, confounded heretics, and incessantly traveled in God's 
causes with the whole devotion of their souls : howsoever, some can 
be content to think that since the apostles, none ever had the spirit 
of understanding, or the minds of sincerity, but themselves. Pardon 
me, pure intelligences, and incorruptible minds. Our ancient fa- 
thers and doctors of the church wanted neither learning, nor judg- 
ment, nor conscience, nor zeal, as some of their Greek and Latin 
works very notably declare : (if they were blind, happy men that 


see) : and what wiser senates, or holier congregations, or any way 
more reverend assemblies than some general, and some provincial 
councils ? Where they to a superficial opinion, seem to set up a gloss, 
against or beside the text ; it would be considered, what their con- 
siderations were ; and whether it can appear that they directly or 
indirectly proceeded without a respective regard of the common- 
wealth, or a tender care of the church, or a reverend examination 
of that text. For I pray God we love the text no worse, from the 
bottom of our hearts, than some of them did. They are not the 
simplest, or dissolutest of men, that think, Discretion might have 
leave to cut his coat according to his cloth ; and commend their 
humility, patience, wisdom, and whole conformity, that were ready 
to accept any requisite order not unlawful, and to admit any de- 
cent or seemly rites of indifferent nature. Put the case just as it 
was then, and in those countries ; and what if some suppose, that 
even M. Calvin, M. Beza, M. Melvin, or M. Cartwright (notwith- 
standing their new designments), being in the same estate wherein 
they were then, and in those countries, would have resolved no 
otherwise in effect than they determined. Or if they did not so 
perfectly well, I pray God we may. Howbeit, none so fit to re- 
concile contradictions, or to accord differences, as he that distin- 
guisheth times, places, occasions, and other swaying circumstances ; 
high points in government either civil or ecclesiastical. 

As in the doubtful paragraphs and canons of the law of man, 
so in the mystical oracles of the law of God ; qui bene distinguit, 
bene docet : in the one, when he useth no distinction but of the law, 
or some reason equipollent to the law r : in the other, when he in- 
terpreteth the Scripture by the Scripture, either expressly by con- 
ference of text with text, or collectively by the rule of analogy. In 
cases indifferent, or arbitrary, what so equal in general, as indif- 
ferency : or so requisite in special as conformity to the positive 
law, to the custom of the country, or to the present occasion ? To 


be perverse or obstinate without necessary cause, is a peevisli folly : 
when by such a dutiful and justifiable order of proceeding, as by a 
sacred league, so infinite variances and contentions may be com- 
pounded. To the clean all things are clean. 

St. Paul, that laid his foundation like a wise architect, and 
was a singular frame of divinity (omnisufficiently furnished to be a 
doctor of the nations and a converter of people), became all unto 
all, and as it were a Christian Mercury to win some. Oh, that his 
knowledge or zeal were as rife as his name : and I would to God, 
some could learn to behave themselves toward princes and magis- 
trates, as Paul demeaned himself, not only before the king Agrippa, 
but also before the two Roman procurators of that province, Felix 
and Festus, whom he entreated in honourable terms, albeit ethnic 
governors. Were none more scrupulous than St. Paul, how easily 
and graciously might divers confutations be reconciled, that now 
rage like civil wars ? The chiefest matter in question is no article 
of belief, but a point of policy or government; wherein a judicial 
equity being duly observed, what letteth but the particular laws, 
ordinances, injunctions, and whole of jurisdiction, may rest in the 
disposition of sovereign authority ? Whose immediate or mediate 
acts are to be reverenced with obedience, not countermanded with 
sedition, or controlled with contention. 

He is a bold subject, that attempteth to bind the hands of 
sacred majesty : and they love controversies well, I trow, that call 
their prince's proceedings into controversy. Altercations and para- 
doxes, as well in discipline as in doctrine, were never so curiously 
curious, or so infinitely infinite : but when all is done, and when 
innovation hath set the best countenance of proof or persuasion 
upon the matter, kingdoms will stand, and free cities must be 
content. Their courts are no precedents for royal courts; their 
councils no instructions for the councils of kings or queens ; their 
consistories, that would master princes, no informations for the 


consistories under princes ; their discipline, no canon or platform for 
sovereign government, either in causes temporal or spiritual. And 
can you blame them, that marvel how of all other tribunals, or 
benches, that Jewish Synedrion, or pontifical consistory, should so 
exceedingly grow in request, that put Christ himself to death, and 
was a whip for his dearest apostles ? I am loath to enter the lists of 
argumentation or discourse with any obstinate mind, or violent wit, 
that weeneth his own conceit, a clear sun without eclipse, or a full 
moon without wanes : but sith importunacy will never leave mo- 
lesting parliaments and princes with admonitions, advertisements, 
motions, petitions, repetitions, solicitations, declamations, dis- 
courses, methods, flatteries, menaces, and all possible instant means 
of enforcing and extorting the present practice of their incorrupt- 
ible theory; it would be somebody's task to hold them a little 
occupied, till a greater resolution begin to subscribe, and a surer 
provision to execute. 

May it therefore please the busiest of those, that debar eccle- 
siastical persons of all civil jurisdiction or temporal function, to 
consider how every petty parish in England, to the number of 
about 52,000, more or less, may be made a Jerusalem or Metro- 
politan See, like the noblest city of the Orient, (for so Pliny 
calleth Jerusalem) : how every minister of the said parishes may be 
promoted to be an high-priest, and to have a pontifical consistory ; 
how every assistant of that consistory may emprove himself an ho- 
norable or worshipful senior, according to his reverend calling, (for 
not only the princes of families, or the princes of tribes, but the 
princes of cities, or judges, the decurions, the quinquagenarians, 
the centurions, the chiliarchs, were inferior officers to the seniors) : 
how a princely and capital court, and even the high council of 
parliament, or supreme tribunal of a royal city, (for there was no 
seniory in Judea but at Jerusalem, saving when the proconsul Ga- 
binius, in a Roman policy, divided that nation into five parts, and 


appointed four other consistories) ; how such a princely and stately 
court should be the patron of a presbytery in a poor parish : how 
the principality, or pontificality of a minister, according to the de- 
generate Sanhedrim, should be set up, when the lordship of a bishop 
or archbishop, according to their position, is to be pulled down : 
finally, how the supremacy over kings and emperors should be 
taken from the highest priest or pope, to be bestowed upon an 
ordinary minister or curate ; and how that minister should dispense 
with Aristotle's law of instruments I* *& lv, or become more mighty 
than Hercules, that could not encounter two charges at once ; or 
at least how that civil court, that mere civil court, (for so it was 
before it declined from the first institution, even as merely civil as 
the Roman senate) should be transformed into a court merely eccle- 
siastical. When these points are considered, if withal it be deter- 
mined by evident demonstration, as clear as the sun and as invincible 
as God's word, that whatsoever the apostles did for their time, is 
immutably perpetual and necessary for all times ; and that nothing 
by way of special respect, or present occasion, is left to the ordi- 
nances, disposition, or provision of the church, but the strict and 
precise practice of their primitive discipline, according to some pre- 
cepts in St. Paul's epistles, and a few examples in the Acts of the 
Apostles. So be it, must be the suffrage of us, that have no voice 
in the Sanhedrim. 

All is concluded in a few pregnant propositions ; we shall not 
need to trouble or entangle our wits with many articles, injunctions, 
statutes, or other ordinances ; the general, provincial, and episcopal 
councils, lost much good labour in their canons, decrees, and what- 
soever ecclesiastical constitutions. The works of the fathers and 
doctors, howsoever ancient, learned, or orthodoxal, are little or 
nothing worth ; infinite studies, writings, commentaries, treatises, 
conferences, consultations, disputations, distinctions, conclusions 
of the most notable scholars in Christendom, altogether superfluous. 


Well worth a few resolute aphorisms, that dispatch more in a word 
than could be boulted out in fifteen hundred years, and roundly 
determine all with an upsy-down. No reformation without an upsy- 
down. Indeed that is one of MachiaveFs positions ; and seeing it 
is proved a piece of sound doctrine, it must not be gain-said. 

Every head, that hath a hand, pull down the pride of bishops, 
and set up the humility of ministers. Diogenes tread upon Plato's 
pomp. An universal reformation be proclaimed with the sound of a 
Jew's trump. Let the pontifical consistory be erected in every 
parish : let the high-priest or archbishop of every parish be installed 
in Moses' chair, (it was Moses', not Aaron's chair, that they chal- 
lenge in their senate; and he must be greater than Hercules that can 
fulfil both) : let the ministry be a royal priesthood, and every mi- 
nister, within the precinct of his territory, and the dominion of his 
seigniory, reign like aPresby ter John : let the everlastingly be record- 
ed for a sovereign rule, as dear as a Jew's eye, that Josephus allegeth 
out of the law Nihil agat Tier, sine pontificis, et Seniorum sententia. 
Only let the said pontiff beware, he prove not a great pope in a 
little room ; or discover not the humour of aspiring Stukely, that 
would rather be the king of a molehill than the second in Ireland 
or England. Some Stoics and melancholy persons have a spice of 
ambition by themselves ; and even Junius Brutus the first was some 
way a kind of Tarquinius Superbus ; and Junius Brutus the second 
is not altogether a mortified creature, but bewrayeth as it were 
some relics of flesh and blood, as well as his inwardest friend Euse- 
bius Philadelphus. I dare come no nearer; yet Greenwood and 
Barrow begin already to complain of surly and solemn brethren ; 
and God knoweth how that pontifical chair of estate might work 
in man, as he is man. Mercury sublimed, is somewhat a coy and 
stout fellow ; and believe, those high and mighty peers would not 
stick to look for a low and humble leg. Every man must have his 
due in his place ; and honour aliably belongeth redoubted seniors. 
That is their proper title at Geneva. Now if it seem as clear a case 


in policy as in divinity, that one and the same discipline may serve 
divers and contrary forms of regiment, and be as fit for the head of 
England as for the foot of Geneva : the worst is, Aristotle's politics 
must be burned for heretics. 

But how happy is the age, that instead of a thousand posi- 
tive laws and Lesbian canons, hath found one standing canon of 
Polycletus an immutable law of sacred government ! And what 
a blissful destiny had the commonwealth, that must be the model 
of all other commonwealths, and the very centre of the Christian 
world ! Let it be so for ever, and ever, if that pamphlet of the 
laws and statutes of Geneva, as well concerning ecclesiastical dis- 
cipline as civil regimen, deserve any such singular or extraordinary 
estimation, either for the one or for the other. If not, are they 
not busy men, that will needs bear a rule, and strike a main stroke 
where they have nothing to do, or are to be ruled ? It were a good 
hearing in my ear, that some of them could govern themselves but 
in reasonable wise sort, that are so forward to sway kingdoms, and 
to swing churches after their new fashion, and can stand upon no 
ground but their own. If certain of them be godlier or learneder 
than many other, (according to their favourablest reputation,) it is 
the better for them ; I would also they were wiser than some of 
them, whom they impugn. Surely I fear they Avill be found more 
peremptory in censure than sound in judgment; and more smart in 
reproof than sharp in proof. And may it not be a probable doubt, 
how they have compared together the law of God's people, and the 
gospel of Christ's church in the Bible : or how they have studied 
Josephus, Philo, and Egesippus, of the Jewish affairs ; or Sigonius 
of the Hebrew commonwealth ; or Freigius his Mosaicus ; or their 
own Bonaventura of the Judaical policy; that fetch their jurisdic- 
tion from the Sanhedrim corrupted, and ground their reformation 
upon the Jew's Talmud, the next neighbour to the Turk's Alcoran. 
Had Ramus's treatise of Discipline come to light, they would long 
ere this have been ashamed of their Sanhedrim, and have blushed 


to foist in the Talmud instead of the Bible. God help poor disci- 
pline, if the water be like the conduit, the oil like the lamp, and the 
plant like the tree. Abraham was the beginning; David the mid- 
dest ; and Christ the end of the Hebrew history : his gospel, not 
his enemy's Talmud, the pure fountain of reformation, and the only 
clear resplendishing sun, that giveth light to the stars of heaven and 
earth ; unto which the church, his most dear and sweet spouse, is 
more deeply and more incomprehensibly bounden, than the day 
unto the sun, that shineth from his glistering chariot. 

It is not for a pontifical seniory, or a mechanical eldership, to 
stop the course of any river that successively rloweth from that li- 
quid fountain ; or to put out any candle that was originally lighted 
at that inextinguishable lamp. The church hath small cause to 
doat upon the cousin-german of tyranny ; and the commonwealth 
hath no great affection to the sworn brother of anarchy. Certainly, 
States need not long to entertain tumultuous and never-satisfied 
innovation. And I hope he was not greatly unadvised, that being 
demanded his opinion of the Eldership in question, answered, he 
conceived of the Eldership (as it is intended and motioned in Eng- 
land) as he thought of the Alder-tree, that whatsoever it appeared 
in shew, it would in trial prove fruitless, seedless, bitter, frail, 
troublous, and a friend to surging waves and tempestuous storms. 
And being further pressed, touching the fonvard zeal of doughty 
Martin Senior, lively Martin Junior, pert Penry, lusty Barrow, and 
some other brag reformists ; (for that rolling-stone of innovation was 
never so turled and tumbled as since those busy limbs began to 
rouse and bestir them, more than all the pragmatics in Europe) : 
when young Phaeton, quoth he, in a presumptuous resolution Avould 
needs rule the chariot of the sun, as it might be the temple of 
Apollo, or the church of St. Paul, or some greater province, (for the 
greater province, commonwealth, or monarchy, the fitter for Phae- 
ton's reformation) : his sudden ruin ministered matter of most la- 


mentable tears to his clear mother and loving sisters, insomuch, that 
they were pitifully changed, as some write, into alder trees, as some, 
into poplars. Sicjlevit Clymene : sic et Clymeneides alta: as it might 
be the mournful church, and her wailing members, wofully trans- 
mewed into alders or poplars. Good, my masters, either make it 
an evident and infallible case, without sophistical wrangling or per- 
sonal brawling, that your unexperienced discipline, not the order 
approved, is the pure well of that divine spring, and the clear light 
of that heavenly sun ; or beseech you, pacify yourselves, and sur- 
cease to endanger kingdoms with unneedful uproars. Crooked pro- 
ceedings would be rectified by a right, not a crooked line ; and 
abuses reformed, not by abusing the persons, but by well using the 
things themselves. I spare my ancients as well at home as abroad ; 
yet Beza might have been good to some doctors of the church, and 
better than he is to Remus, Erastus, Kemnitius, and sundry other 
excellent men of this age : (neither can it sufficiently appear that 
the two famous lawyers, Gribaldus and Baldwinus, were such mon- 
strous apostates or poisonous heretics as he reporteth) : and whether 
some other, nearer hand, have not been too familiarly bold with 
their superiors, of approved learning and wisdom, meet for their 
reverend and honourable calling, my betters judge. 

Modesty is a civil virtue, and humility a Christian quality : 
surely Martin is too too malapert to be discreet, and Barrow too 
too hot to be wise. If they be godly, God help charity ; but in 
my opinion they little wot what a chaos of disorders, confusions, 
and absurdities they breed, that sweat to build a reformation in a 
monarchy upon a popular foundation, or a mechanical plot; and 
will needs be as fiery in execution, even to wring the club out of 
Hercules' hand, as they were aery in resolution. Alas! that wise 
men and reformers of states (I know not a weightier province) 
should once imagine, to find it a matter of as light consequence to 
seniorise in a realm over the greatest lords, and even over the high- 


ness of majesty, as in a town over a company of mean merchants 
and meaner artificers. I will not stick to make the best of it. M. 
Calvin, the founder of the plot, (whom Beza styleth the great Cal- 
vin), had reason to establish his ministry against inconstancy, and 
to fortify himself against faction, (as he could best devise and com- 
pass with the assistance of his French party and other favourites), 
by encroaching upon a mechanical and mutinous people, from whose 
variable and fickle mutability he could no otherwise assecure him- 
self; as he sensibly found, not only by daily experience of their 
giddy and factious nature, but also by his own expulsion and ba- 
nishment ; whom after a little trial (as it were for a dainty novelty 
or sly experiment), they could be content to use as kindly and 
loyally, as they had used the old bishop, their lawful prince. 

Could M. Cartwright, or M. Traverse, seize upon such a city, 
or any like popular town, Helvetian, or other, where democracy 
ruleth the roast, they should have somebody's good leave to pro- 
vide for their own security, and to take their best advantage upon 
tickle Cantons. Some one, peradventure, in time would canton 
them well enough, and give a shrewd pull at Metropolitan See, as 
sovereign as the old bishoprick of Geneva. It were not the first 
time that a Democracy by degrees hath proved an Aristocraty; an 
Aristocraty degenerated into an Oligarchy; an Oligarchy amounted 
to a Tyranny or Principality. No rhetoric climax so artificial, as 
that politic gradation. But in a just kingdom, where is other good 
assurance for ministers, and meeter counsels for princes, than such 
swarms of imperious elderships, it is not for subjects to usurp, as 
commanders may tyrannise in a small territory. Unless they mean 
to set up a general deformation, in lieu of an universal reformation, 
and to bring in an order that would soon prove a deluge of disorder, 
an overflow of anarchy, and an open flood-gate, to drown policy 
with licentiousness, nobility with obscurity, and the honour of realms 
with the baseness of Cantons. 


They that long for the bane and plague of their country, pray 
for that many-headed and Cantonish reformation ; in issue good for 
none, but the high judges of the consistory, and their appropriate 
creatures, as I will justify at large, in case I be ever particularly 
challenged. I am no pleader for the regiment of the feet over the 
head, or the government of the stomach over the heart; surely 
nothing can be more pernicious in practice, or more miserable in 
conclusion, than a commanding authority in them that are born to 
obey, ordained to live in private condition, made to follow their 
occupations, and bound to homage. 

You that be scholars, moderate your invention with judgment; 
and you that be reasonable gentlemen, pacify yourselves with reason. 
If it be an injury to inclose commons, what justice is it to lay open 
inclosures? and if monarchies must suffer popular states to enjoy their 
free liberties and amplest franchises, without the least infringement 
or abridgment, is there no congruence of reason that popular states 
should give monarchies leave to use their positive laws, established 
orders, and royal prerogatives, without disturbance or confutation ? 
Because meaner ministers than lords may become a popular city or 
territory, must it therefore be an absurdity in the majesty of a king- 
dom to have some lords spiritual amongst so many temporal; as 
well for the fitter correspondence and combination of both degrees ; 
their more reverend private direction in matters of conscience; their 
weightier public counsel in parliaments and synods ; the firmer as- 
surance of the clergy in their causes, and the more honourable 
estimation of religion in all respects, as for the solemner visitation 
of their dioceses, and other competent jurisdiction. 

It is tyranny or vain-glory, not reverend lordship, that the 
Scripture condemneth. There were bishops, or, as some will have 
them termed, superintendents, with episcopal superiority and juris- 
diction, in the golden age of the apostles ; Timothy of Ephesus, 
Titus of Crete, Mark of Alexandria, James of Jerusalem, Philemon 


of Gaza, the eloquent Apollos of Caesarea, Euodius of Antioch, So- 
sipater of Iconium, according to Dorotheas ; of Thessalonica, ac- 
cording to Origen ; Tychicus of Chalcedon, Ananias of Damascus, 
and so forth. Divers of the ancient fathers and doctors, as well of 
the oriental as of the occidental churches, were bishops, reverend 
fathers in Christ, and spiritual lords. The same style, or title of 
Reverence, hath successively continued to this age, without any im- 
peachment of value, or contradiction of note, saving that of the 
angry malcontent and proud heretic Aerius, scarcely worth the 
naming. What cruel outrage hath it lately committed, or what 
heinous indignity hath it newly admitted, (more than other ad- 
vancements of virtue, or styles of honour,) that it should now be 
cancelled or abandoned in all haste? Would God, some were no 
stouter or haughtier without the title, than some are with it. Many 
temporal lords, dukes, princes, kings, and emperors, have shewn 
very notable effectual examples of Christian humility, and may not 
spiritual lords carry spiritual minds ? I hope they do ; I know 
some do ; I am sure all may, notwithstanding their ordinary title, 
or an hundred plausible epithets. I would the lordship, or pomp 
of bishops, were the greatest abuse in commonwealths or churches. 
I fear me, I shall never live to see so happy a world upon the earth, 
that advised reformation should have nothing worse to complain of, 
than that lordship or pomp. What may be, or is amiss, in any 
degree, I defend not : (the delict of some one or two prelates, were 
it manifest, ought not to redound to the damage or detriment of the 
church.) What may stand with the honour of the realm, with the 
benefit of the church, with the approbation of antiquity, and with 
the canon of the scripture, I have no reason to impugn or abridge. 
I have more cause to suspect that some earnest dealers might be 
persuaded to dispense with the name of Lordship in bishops, on con- 
dition themselves might be the parties : that would not secularly 
abuse the title to any private pomp or vanity, but religiously apply 


it to the public administration of the church, according to the first 
institution. Were dalliance safe in such cases, I would wish the 
experiment in a person or two, in whose complexions I have some 
insight. Doctor Humphry of Oxford, and Doctor Fulke of Cam- 
bridge, two of their standard-bearers a long time, grew conformable 
in the end, as they grew riper in experience, and sager in judgment ; 
and why may not such, and such in the like or weightier respects, 
condescend to a like toleration of matters Adiaphoral ? Sith it will 
be no otherwise (maugre all admonitions, or whatsoever zealous 
motives), better relent with favour, than resist in vain. Were any 
fair offer of preferment handsomely tendered unto some that gape 
not greedily after promotion, nor can away with this same servile 
waiting, or plausible courting for living, I doubt not but wise men 
would see what were good for themselves, commodious for their 
friends, and convenient for the church. If they should obstinately 
refuse deaneries and bishoprics, I should verily believe they are 
moved with stronger arguments, and pregnanter authorities, than 
any they have yet published in print, or uttered in disputation; 
and I would be very glad to confer with them for my instruction. 
Sound reasons, and authentical quotations, may prevail much ; and 
no such invincible defence as the armour of proof. In the mean 
time, the cause may be remembered that incensed the foresaid fac- 
tious malcontent, Aerius, to maintain the equality of bishops and 
other priests, when himself failed in his ambitious suit for a bishop- 
ric : and all resteth upon a case of conscience, as nice and squeamish 
a scruple with some zealous Mar-prelates, as whether the fox, in 
some good respects, might be won to eat grapes. 

They that would pregnantly try conclusions, might, peradven- 
ture, find such a temptation, the materialest and learnedest confuta- 
tion that hath yet been imprinted. Melancholy is deeply wise, and 
choler resolutely stout; they must persuade them essentially and 
feelingly, that will move them effectually. Were they entreated to 


yield, other arguments would subscribe of their own gentle accord, 
and ingenuously confess, that opinion is not to prejudice the truth, 
or faction to derogate from authority. Possession was ever a strong 
defendant ; and a just title maketh a puissant adversary. Bishops 
will govern with reputation, when Mar-prelates must obey with 
reverence, or resist with contumacy. Errors in doctrine, corrup- 
tions in manners, and abuses in offices, would be reformed ; but 
degrees of superiority, and orders of obedience, are needful in all 
estates, and especially in the clergy, as necessary as the sun in the 
day, or the moon in the night: or Cock-on-hoop, with a hundred 
thousand curates in the world, would prove a mad discipline. 

Let Order be the golden rule of proportion, and I am as for- 
ward an admonitioner, as any Precisian in England. If Disorder 
must be the discipline, and Confusion the reformation (as without 
difference of degrees it must needs), I crave pardon. Anarchy was 
never yet a good statesman ; and Ataxie will ever be a bad church- 
man. That same lusty Downfall, is too hot a policy for my learning. 
They were best to be content to let bishoprics stand, that would be 
loath to see religion fall, or the clergy trodden under foot. He 
conceiveth little, that perceiveth not what bonds hold the world in 
order, and what tenures maintain an assurance in estates. Were 
ministers stipendaries, or pensioners, (which hath also been a wise 
motion), and all without distinction alike esteemed, that is, all 
without regard alike contemned and abjected (which would be the 
issue of unequal equality), woe to the poor Ministry ; and the 
cunningest practice of the consistory should have much ado to stop 
those gaps, and recure those sores. Never a more succourless 
orphan, or a more desolate widow, or a more distressed pilgrim, 
than such a ministry, until, in a thirsty and hungry zeal, it should 
eftsoons retire to former provisions, and recover that ancient 
osconomy ecclesiastical. The surest revenue, and honourablest 
salary of that coat, much better I wis, than the soldier's pay, or the 
serving-man's wages. 


Equality, in things equal, is a just law ; but a respective valua- 
tion of persons, is the rule of equity : and they little know into 
what incongruities and absurdities they run headlong, that are 
Aveary of geometrical proportion, or distributive justice, in the col- 
lation of public functions, offices, or promotions, civil or spiritual. 
God bestoweth his blessings with difference, and teacheth his lieu- 
tenant the prince, to estimate and prefer his subjects accordingly. 
When better authors are alleged for equality in persons unequal, 
I will live and die in defence of that equality, and honour arithme- 
tical proportion, as the only balance of justice, and sole standard of 
government. Meanwhile, they that will be wiser than God and 
their prince, may continue a peevish scrupulosity in subscribing to 
their ordinances, and nourish a rebellious contumacy in refusing 
their orders. I wish unto my friends as unto myself; and recom- 
mend learning to discretion, conceit to judgment, zeal to know- 
ledge, duty to obedience, confusion to order, uncertainty to assur- 
ance, and unlawful novelty to lawful uniformity ; the sweet repose 
that the commonwealth or church can enjoy. 

Regnum divisum, a sovereign text; and what notabler gloss upon 
a thousand texts? or what more cordial restorative of body or soul, 
than Ecce quam bonum, et quam jucundum ? Sweet my masters, be 
sweet; and, without the least bitterness of unnecessary strife, tender 
your aftectionatest devotions of zeal and honour, to the best content- 
ment of your friends, your patrons, your prince, the commonwealth, 
the church, the Almighty ; which so dearly love, so bountifully main- 
tain, so mightily protect, so graciously favour, and so indulgentially 
tender you. Confound not yourselves ; and what people this day 
more blessed, or what ation more flourishing ? Some fervent, and 
many counterfeit lovers, adore their mistresses, and commit idolatry 
to the least of their beauties. Oh, that we knew what a sacrifice 
obedience were, and what a jewel of jewels he offereth, that pre- 
senteth charity! without which we may talk of doctrine, and dis- 
course of discipline, but doctrine is a parrot, discipline an echo, 


reformation a shadow, sanctification a dream, without charity ; in 
whose sweet bosom Reconciliation harboureth, the dearest friend of 
the church, and the only est amen of so infinite controversies. 
That Reconciliation settle itself to examine matters barely, without 
their veils or habiliments, according to the counsel of Marcus 
Aurelius; and to define things simply, without any colours or em- 
bellishments, according to the precepts of Aristotle, and the ex- 
amples of Ramus ; and the most endless altercations being generally 
rather verbal than real, and more circumstantial than substantial, 
will soon grow to an end. Which end humanity hasten, if there be 
any spice of humanity ; divinity dispatch, if there be any remnant 
of divinity ; heaven accomplish, if the graces of heaven be not locked 
up ; and earth embrace, if reconciliation hath not forsaken the 
earth. If falsehood be weak, as it is weak, why should it longer 
hold up head ; and if truth be truth, that is great and mighty, why 
should it not prevail? Most excellent Truth, shew thyself in thy 
victorious majesty, and maugre whatsoever encounter of wit, learn- 
ing, or fury, prevail puissantly. 

These notes, if they happen to see light, are especially intended 
to the particular use of a few, whom, in affectionate good will, I 
would wish to stay their wisdoms. Did I not entirely pity their 
case, and extraordinarily favour some commendable parts in them, 
they should not easily have cost me half thus many lines, every 
one worse bestowed than other, if constancy in error be a credit ; 
in disobedience, a bond; in vice, a virtue; in misery, a felicity. 
He that writ the premises affecteth truth as precisely as any pre- 
cisian in Cambridge or Oxford ; and hateth even love itself, in com- 
parison of truth, which is ever to tender with a curious devotion : 
but a man may be as blind in overseeing, as in seeing nothing ; and 
he may shoot farther from the mark that overshooteth, than he that 
shooteth short or wide ; as always some mote-spying heads have so 
scrupulously ordered the matter, Ut intelligendo nihil intelligerent. 


I would be loath to fall into the hands of any such captious and 
mutinous wits ; but if it be my fortune to light upon hard entertain- 
ment, what remedy ? I have had some little tampering with a kind 
of extortioners and barratours, in my time, and fear not greatly 
any bugs, but in chanty or in duty. Wrong him not that would 
gladly be well taken where he meaneth well, and once for all pro- 
testeth he loveth humanity with his heart, and reverenceth divinity 
with his soul ; as he would rather declare in deed than profess in 
word. If he erreth, it is for want of knowledge, not for want of 
zeal. Howbeit, for his fuller contentment he hath also done his 
endeavour to know something on both sides ; and laying aside par- 
tiality to the persons, hath privately made the most equal and 
sincere analysis of their several allegations and proofs, that his logic 
and divinity could set down. For other analyses he overpassed, 
as impertinent or not specially material. After such examination 
of their authorities and arguments, not with a rigorous censure of 
either, but with a favourable construction of both, pardon him, 
though he presume to deliver some part of his animadversions in 
such terms as the instant occasion presenteth ; not for any conten- 
tious or sinister purpose, (the world is too full of litigious and bar- 
ratous pens), but for the satisfaction of those that desire them, and 
the advertisement of those that regard them. Who, according to 
any indifferent or reasonable analysis, shall find the sharpest inven- 
tions and weightiest judgments of their leaders, nothing so authen- 
tical or current as was prejudicially expected. 

It is no piece of my intention to instruct, where I may learn ; 
or to control any superior of quality, that in conscience may affect, 
or in policy seem to countenance that side. With Martin, and his 
applauders ; Brown, and his adherents ; Barrow, and his 'complices; 
Kett, and his sectaries; or whatsoever commotioners of like dispo- 
sition, (for never such a flush of schismatic heads, or heretic wits), 
that, like the notorious H. N. or the presumptuous David Gorge, or 


that execrable Servetus, or other turbulent rebels in religion, would 
be Turkesing and innovating they wot not what. I hope it may 
become me to be almost as bold as they have been with judges, 
bishops, archbishops, princes, and with whom not? howsoever 
learned, wise, virtuous, reverend, honourable, or sovereign. Or if 
my cool dealing with them be insupportable, I believe their hot 
practising with lords and princes was not greatly tolerable. Be as 
it may ; that is done on both sides cannot be undone : and if they 
ween, they may offend outrageously without injury ; other are sure 
they may defend moderately with justice. When that sevenfold shield 
faileth, my plea is at an end ; albeit my making or marring were the 
client. Whiles the sevenfold shield holdeth out, he can do little that 
cannot hold it up. A strong apology enableth a weak hand ; and a 
good cause is the best advocate. Some sleep not to all, and I watch 
not to every one. If I be understood with effect, where I wish at 
least a demurrer with stayed advisement and consultation, I have my 
desire, and will not tediously importune other. I doubt not of many 
contrary instigations, and some bold examples of turbulent spirits ; 
but heat is not the meetest judge on the bench, or the soundest 
divine in disputation ; and in matters of government, but especially 
in motions of alterations, that run their heads against a strong wall. 
Take heed is a fair thing. Were there no other considerations, the 
place and the time are two weighty and mighty circumstances. It 
is a very nimble feather that will needs outrun the wing of the time, 
and leave the sails of regiment behind. Men are men, and ever had, 
and ever will have their imperfections ; Paradise tasted of imperfec- 
tions ; the golden age, whensoever it was most golden, had some 
dross of imperfections ; the patriarchs felt some fits of imperfec- 
tions; Moses' Tabernacle was made acquainted with imperfections; 
Solomon's Temple could not clear itself from imperfections ; the 
primitive church wanted not imperfections ; Constantine's devotion 
found imperfections. What reformation could ever say, I have no 
imperfections? or will they, that dub themselves the little flock, 


and the only remnant of Israel, say, We have no imperfections ? 
Had they none, as none have more, than some of those Luciferian 
spirits; it is an unkind bird that defileth his kind nest; and a 
proud husbandman that can abide no tares amongst wheat, or up- 
braideth the corn with the cockle. There is a God above that 
heareth prayers, a Prince beneath that tendereth supplications; 
lords on both sides that patronise good causes ; learned men that 
desire conferences ; time, to consider upon essential points ; know- 
ledge that loveth zeal, as zeal must reverence knowledge; truth, 
that displayeth and investeth itself; conscience, that is a thousand 
witnesses, even against itself. When the question is de Re, to dis- 
pute de Homine is sophistical ; or when the matter dependeth in 
controversy, to cavil at forms is captious ; the abuse of the one, 
Avere it proved, abolisheth not the use of the other. What should 
impertinent secrecies be revealed, or needless quarrels picked, or 
every proposition wrenched to the harshest sense? What should 
honest minds and excellent wits be taunted and bourded without 
rhyme or reason ? What should insolent and monstrous phantasti- 
cality extol and glorify itself above the clouds, without cause or 
effect? When, where, and how should Martin Junior be purified, 
Martin Senior be sanctified, Brown evangelistified, Barrow apostoli- 
fied, Kett angelified, or the patriarch of the lovely familistis, H. N. 
deified, more than all the world beside? Were it possible that 
this age should afford a divine and miraculous Elias : yet, when 
Elias himself deemed himself most desolate, and complained he was 
left all alone, there remained thousands living that never bowed 
their knees unto Baal. But Faction is as sure a keeper of coun- 
sel as a sieve; Spite as close a secretary as a scummer; Innova- 
tion, at the least, a bright angel from heaven ; and the foresaid 
abstracts of pure divinity will needs know Avhy Junius Brutus, or 
Eusebius Philadelphus, should rather be Pasquils incarnate than 

If there be one Abraham in Ur, one Lot in Sodom, one Daniel 


in Babylon, one Jonas in Nineveh, one Job in Huz; or if there be 
one David in the court of Saul, one Obadiah in the court of Achab, 
one Jeremiah in the court of Zedechias, one Zorobabel in the court 
of Nabuchodonosor, one Nehemias in the court of Artaxerxes ; or 
any singular-blessed one in any good or bad court, city, state, king- 
dom, or nation, it must be one of them ; all other, of whatsoever 
dignity or desert, what but reprobates, apostates, monsters, tyrants, 
Pharisees, hypocrites, false prophets, belly-gods, worldlings, raven- 
ous wolves, crafty foxes, dogs to their vomit, a generation of vipers, 
limbs of Satan, devils incarnate, or such like ? For Erasmus's poor 
Copia Verborum, and Omphalius's sorry furniture of invective and 
declamatory phrases, must come short in this comparison of the 
railing faculty. I know no remedy but the prayer of charity and. 
the order of authority, whom it concerneth to deal with libels as 
with thorns, with fancies as with weeds, and with heresies or schisms 
as with hydra's heads. It hath been always one of my observa- 
tions, but especially of late years, since these Numantine skirmishes* 
the better scholar indeed the colder schismatic, and the hotter 
schismatic the worse scholar. What an hideous and incredible 
opinion did David Gorge conceive of himself? H. N. was not afraid 
to insult over all the fathers, doctors, schoolmen, and new writers, 
ever since the evangelists and apostles. Brown challenged all the 
doctors, and other notablest graduates of Cambridge and Oxford ; 
Kett, though something in astrology and physic, yet a raw divine, 
how obstinate and untractable in his fantastic assertions ! Barrow 
taketh upon him, not only above Luther, Zuinglius, jEcolampadius, 
Brentius, and all the vehementest German protestants, but also 
above Calvin, Viret, Beza, Marlorat, Knox, Melvin, Cartwright, 
Traverse, Fenner, Penry, and all our importunest solicitors of re- 
formation, howsoever qualified with gifts, or reputed amongst their 
favourites. Illuminate understanding is the rare bird of the church; 
and grand intendiments come by a certain extraordinary and super- 


natural revelation. One unlearned singularist hath more in him 
than ten learned precisians. Give me the brave fellow that can 
carry a dragon's tail after him. Tush, university learning is a dunce, 
and school divinity a Sorbonist. It is no art or modesty that 
maketh a Rabbi Alphes, or a ringleader of multitudes. David 
Gorge the arch-prophet of the world, H. N. the arch-evangelist of 
Christ, and Barrow the arch-apostle of the church. Superhappy 
creatures, that have illuminate understanding and grand intendi- 
ments at the best hand. Miraculous Barrow, that so hugely ex- 
ceedeth his ancients in the pure art of reformation. But undoubt- 
edly his kingdom cannot flourish long; as he hath blessed his 
seniors, so he must be anointed of his juniors. Methinks, I see 
another and another head suddenly starting up upon hydra's 
shoulders. Farewell H. N. and welcome Barrow : adieu Barrow, 
and all hail thou angelical spirit of the Gospel, whose face I see in 
a crystal more pure than purity itself: the depression of one the 
exultation of another : the corruption of one the generation of an- 
other : no seed so fertile or rank as the seed of schism and the 
sperm of heresy. Christ aid his assaulted fort, and bless the seed 
of Abraham ; and, in honour of excellent arts and worthy profes- 
sions, be it ever said, The best learned, are best advised. 

Even Cardinal Sadolet, Cardinal Poole, and Omphalius, com- 
mended the mild and discreet disposition of Melancthon, Bucer, 
and Sturmius, when they first stirred in Germany. The queen 
mother of France, and the Cardinal of Lorraine, praised Ramus, 
albeit he was known to favourise the Prince of Conde; Jovius 
praised Reuclin and Camerarius, as Peucer praised Jovius and 
Bembus; Osorius praised Ascham, as Ascham praised Watson; 
and who praised not Sir John Cheeke ? how exceedingly did Cardan 
praise him ! Sir Thomas Smith, her majesty's ambassador in France, 
in the reigns of Henry the Second, Francis the Second, and Charles 
the Ninth, was honoured of none more than of some French and 


Italian cardinals and bishops ; the king's sons favoured his son, as 
well after as before their coronation. 

Neander, in his late chronicle, and later geography, praiseth 
here and there certain papists; and did not Agrippa, Erasmus, 
Duarene, and Bodine occasionally praise as many protestants ? It 
was a sweet and divine virtue, that stirred up love and admiration 
in such adversaries ; and doubtless they carried an honest and ho- 
nourable mind, that forgot themselves and their friends to do their 
enemies reason and virtue right. A virtue that I often seek, seldom 
find ; wish for in many, hope for in some, look for in few ; reverence 
in a superior, honour in an inferior; admire in a friend, love in a 
foe ; joy to see or hear in one or other. 

Perverse natures are forward to disguise themselves, and to 
condemn not only courtesy or humanity, but even humility and 
charity itself, with a nickname of neutrality or ambidexterity : term 
it what you list, and miscall it at your pleasure ; certes it is an ex- 
cellent and sovereign quality, that in a firm resolution never to 
abandon virtue or to betray the truth, stealeth entertainment from 
displeasure, favour from offence, love from enmity, grace from in- 
dignation ; and, not like Homer's Syren, but like Homer's Minerva, 
traineth partiality to a liking of the adverse party, dissention to a 
commendation of his contrary, error to an embracement of truth, 
and even corruption himself to an advancement of valour, of desert, 
of integrity, of that moral and intellectual good that so graciously 
insinuateth, and so forcibly improveth itself. Oh, that learning 
were ever married to such discretion, wit to such wisdom, zeal to 
such virtue, contention to such morality ; and oh, that such private 
government might appear in those that plead most importunately 
for public government. Oh, that Plato could teach Xenocrates ; 
Aristotle, Callisthenes ; Theophrastus, Aristotle; Eunapius, Jam- 
blicus, to sacrifice to the sweet Graces of Mercury. What should 
1 veil or shadow a good purpose ? Oh, a thousand times that Me- 

lancthon could train Junius Brutus ; Sturmius, Philadelphus ; Ra- 
mus, Beza ; Jewell, Cartwright ; Deering, Martin ; Baro, Barrow ; 
to embrace the heavenly Graces of Christ, and to kiss the hand of 
that Divine Creature that passeth all understanding. What a feli- 
city were it to see such heads as pregnant as hydra's heads; or 
hydra's heads as rare as such heads ! 

It is not my meaning to deface or prejudice any, that unfeign- 
edly meaneth well. If percase I happen to touch some painted 
walls and godly hypocrites, (godliness is become a strange creature 
should they be truly godly), let them keep their own counsel, and 
cease to affect new reputation by old heresies. The Jews had their 
holly-holly-holly Esseans ; their separate and precise Pharisees ; their 
daily regenerate and puritan Hemerobaptists ; their fervent and 
illuminate Zelotists ; only in shape men, in conversation saints, in 
insinuation angels, in profession demigods, as descended from hea- 
ven to bless the earth, and to make the city a Paradise that washed 
their feet. Jesus bless good minds from the black enemy Avhen he 
attireth himself like an angel of light. 

Judas, the Gaulonite, in the reign of Herod the Great, was an 
hot toast, and a marvellous Zelotist ; when the Emperor Octavian, 
taxing the world and assessing Judea like other nations, who but 
he, in the abundance of his mighty zeal, was the man that set it 
down for a canonical doctrine, That the people of God was to ac- 
knowledge no other Lord but God ; and that it was a slavish 
bondage to pay any such exaction or imposition unto Augustus : 
and having given out that principle for an infallible rule, or rather 
a sacred law, very vehemently solicited and importuned the people 
(as the manner is) to live and die in the cause of their God and 
their liberty. But sweet Christ was of a milder and meeker spirit, 
and both paid tribute himself to avoid offence, and set it down for 
an eternal maxim in his gospel, Give unto Caesar that belongeth 
unto Cffisar, and unto God that belongeth unto God, 


Zealous Judas, the Gaulonite, and fervent Simon, the Galilean, 
two singular reformers of the Judaical synagogue, pretended fair for 
a pure type, or exquisite platform of the soundest, exactest, and 
precisest Hebraical discipline; but what profane idolatry so plagued 
that divine commonwealth, as that same scrupulous zeal ? or what 
made that blessed state utterly miserable, but that same unruly and 
tumultuous zeal, that would not be content with reason until it was 
too late ? For a time they supposed themselves the worthiest and 
rarest creatures in Judea, or rather the only men of that state ; and 
in a deep conceit of a neat and undefiled purity, divorced or se- 
questered themselves from the corrupt society of other. But alas ! 
that any purified minds should pay so dearly and smartly for their 
fine fancies ; which cost them no less than the most lamentable 
overthrow of their whole commonwealth. 

You that have languages and arts more than divers other of 
good quality, and can use them with method and a certain plausible 
opinion of great learning, be as excellent and singular as you pos- 
sibly can for your lives, in a direct course ; but be not peevish or 
odd in a crooked balk, that leadeth out of the king's highway, and 
Christ's own path, into a maze of confusion, and a wilderness of de- 
solation ; the final end of these endless contentions, if they be not 
otherwise calmed by private discretion, or cut short by public order. 

The first example of division was perilous ; and what ranks or 
swarms of insatiable schism incontinently followed ! It is a mad 
world, when every crew of conceited punies, puffed up with a pre- 
sumptuous or phantastical imagination, must have their several 
complot or faction, as it were a certain Punical war; whose victory 
will be like that of Carthage against Rome, if it be not the sooner 
quieted. Remember Judas, the Gaulonite, and forget not your- 
selves : inordinate zeal is a pernicious reformer, and destruction a 
dear purchase of plots in moonshine. St. Paul, the heroical apostle, 
could not find a more excellent way than Charity, the most sove- 



reign way of Faith and Hope : any other design of purity or singu- 
larity buildeth not up, but pulleth down ; and of more than a 
million in hope, proveth less than a cypher in effect. What the 
salvation of David Gorge ? a nullity : What the deification of H. N. ? 
a nullity : What the glorification of Kett ? a nullity : What the sanc- 
tification of Brown ? a nullity : What the community of Barrow ? 
a nullity : What the plausibility of Martin ? a nullity : What a thou- 
sand such popular motives, allectives, incensives, aggravations of 
the least corruption, amplifications of the highest felicity, new lands 
of promise overflowing with milk and honey, fools of Paradise, 
glorious innovations ; but present shame, wretched confusion, utter 
ruin, everlasting infamy, horrible damnation, and a most hideous 
nullity? Even the great hurly-burly of the church, that imagined 
heavenly discipline, and the very topsy-turvy of the state, the pre- 
tended divine reformation of two mighty giants, what can they 
possibly emprove themselves, but silly pigmies, and a most pitiful 
nullity ? Sweet charity, ensweeten these bitter garboils, and seeing 
they so instantly and importunately effect a perfect platform, give 
them a most curious and exquisite table of pure reformation, even 
the true picture of thyself. Surer prevention of mischief and ruin, 
I know none. 

I had here bidden Martin in the Vintry farewel, and taken my 
leave of this tedious discourse (for no man taketh less delight in 
invectives), were I not newly certified of certain fresh and frantic 
practices for the erection of the Synedrion in all haste, whose corn- 
plotters are Aveary of melancholy projects, and begin to resolve on 
a choleric course. Hot arguments are fiercely threatened, in case 
the discipline be not the sooner entertained ; but, methinks that 
warm course should scarcely be the style of pure mortification ; and, 
haply, softer fire would make sweeter malt. A little advisement 
doth not much amiss in capital or dangerous attempts. It were 


well the blowing bellows might be entreated to keep their wind for 
a fitter opportunity ; or, if fire boiling in the stomach must needs 
break out at the mouth, the best comfort is, the country affordeth 
sufficient provision of Avater to encounter the terriblest Vulcanist, 
that brandisheth a burning sword or a fiery tongue. Howbeit, some 
lookers on, that fear not greatly the flame, cannot but marvel at the 
smoke, and had rather see them breathing out the fume of divine 
tobacco, than of furious rage. I have heard of politic Jews, that 
for their commodity have become Christians, whom in Spain and 
Italy they term Retaliados; but that politic Christians, for any 
benefit, promotion, or other regard whatsoever, should practise to 
become Jews in doctrine or discipline, in earnest or in devise, in 
whole or in part, it were strange, and almost incredible, if the world 
were not grown a monstrous Retaliado for his advantage, and the 
voice of Jacob proved a more gainful stratagem for the hands of 
Esau, than ever the hands of Esau were for the voice of Jacob. I 
charge not any that are clear (would there were no more Jewish 
Pharisees than Hebrew Avorthies) ; but let not them accuse me for 
speaking, that condemn themselves for doing ; or sheAV themselves 
saints in the premises, that will scantily prove honest men in the 
conclusion. All are not led Avith the same respects, that hang on 
the same string ; some are carried with one consideration, some with 
another ; some tender divinity as their soul, some love religion as 
their body, some favour the gospel as their fortune. I doubt not 
but some desire discipline for conscience; and do none covet reform- 
ation for gain? or were it impossible to point out a Retaliado con-, 
vert in the hottest throng of those fresh proselytes ? If there be no 
Retaliados in Christendom, I am glad I have said nothing ; if there 
be, they may so long mock other in Avords, that at last they will 
most deceive themselves in deeds. 

I am beholding to the old jury, but have no great fancy to a 
new, either in London or elseAvhere, Avhen, amongst divers other 


histories of Jewish enormities, I remember how an ancient Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, one John Peckam, was fain to take order 
with the Bishop of London then being, for the dissolution and de- 
struction of all the synagogues in his diocese. The less need of any 
such order at this instant, all the better. I will not dispute, whether 
a Synedrion presuppose a synagogue, or whether it be not as in- 
supportable a yoke for any king, or mighty State, as it was for king 
Herod or the Romans, that found it intolerable (methinks, the wisest 
Sanedrist of a thousand should hardly persuade me that he is a 
friend of princes, or no enemy of monarchies) : but I know so much 
by some, none of the meanest scholars, or obscurest men in Europe, 
touching their opinion of the Old and New Testament, of the Thai- 
mud, of the Alcoran, of the Hebrew, Christian, and Turkish His- 
tories, that I deem any thing suspicious and perilous, that any way 
inclineth to Judaism ; as fell an adversary to Christianity, as the 
wolf to the lamb, or the gosshawk to the dove. Grant them an 
inch, they will soon take an ell with the advantage ; and were any 
part of their discipline one foot, could the body of their doctrine 
want an head ? or might not the parish prove a disorderly congre- 
gation, as bad as a synagogue, where the judicial bench were a 
Synedrion ? 

The Jews are a subtle and mischievous people, and have cun- 
ningly inveigled some students of the holy tongue, with their miracu- 
lous Cabala from Moses, their omniscious Cosmology from Solomon, 
their Chaldean sapience from Daniel, and other profound secrets of 
great pretence : but their liberal gifts bite like their usury ; and 
they are finally found to entertain them best, that shut them 
quite out of doors, with their Sanhedrim and all. They can tell a 
precious tale of their divine Senate, and of their venerable Meoke- 
kim, reverenced like living laws ; but were all judgments actually 
drawn to the divine Senate, and all laws solemnly to be fetched 
from the venerable Meokekim, as from speaking oracles, might not. 


these, and their other metaphysical mysteries, be enregistered in 
the same Thalmud ; or might it not prove a pinching reformation 
for Christendom ? I have tasted of their Verbal miracles, and can- 
not greatly commend their personal virtues ; but their real Usury is 
known throughout the Christian world, to be an unmerciful tyrant ; 
and, I fear me, their consistorial jurisdiction would grow a cruel 
griper, especially being so universally extended in every parish, as 
is intended by the promoters thereof, and powerably armed with 
that supreme and uncontrollable authority, which they affect in 
causes ecclesiastical : a brave spiritual motion, and worthy not only 
of these pidling stirs, but even of a Trojan war. Yet their Prece- 
dent, the Mosaical Synedrion, was a civil court (as is aforemen- 
tioned, and would be reconsidered), cum mero imperio: and when it 
became mixed, it was not merely ecclesiastical ; and when it became 
merely ecclesiastical, of a pontifical consistory, it soon proved a ty- 
rannical court ; and, by your good leave, was as nimble to encroach 
upon civil causes, being an ecclesiastical court, as ever it was to 
intermeddle with ecclesiastical causes, being a civil court. 

The finest methodists, according to Aristotle's golden rule of 
artificial bounds, condemn geometrical precepts in arithmetic, or 
arithmetical precepts in geometry, as irregular and abusive; but 
never artists so licentiously heterogenised, or so extravagantly ex- 
ceeded his prescribed limits, as ambition or covetise. Every miller 
is ready to convey the water to his own mill; and neither the high- 
priests of Jerusalem, nor the popes of Rome, nor the patriarchs of 
Constantinople, nor the pastors of Geneva, were ever hasty to bind 
their own hands. They that research antiquities, and inquire into 
the privities of practices, shall find an act of prcemunire is a neces- 
sary bridle in some cases. 

The first Bishops of Rome were undoubtedly virtuous men, 
and godly pastors; from bishops they grew to be popes : Avhat more 
reverend than some of those bishops, or what more tyrannical than 


some of those popes ? Aaron, and the high-priests of Jerusalem and 
of other ceremonial nations, were the glorious mirrors ; and they 
deemed nothing too magnificent or pompous, to breed an universal 
reverence of their sacred authority and hierarchy. We are so far 
alienated from imitating or allowing them, that we cannot abide 
our own bishops ; yet, withal, would have every minister a bishop, 
and would also be fetching a new pattern from old Jerusalem, the 
mother See of the high priesthood. So the world (as the manner 
is) will needs run about in a circle, pull down bishops, set up the 
minister, make him bishop of his parish, and head of the consistory 
(call him how you list, that must be his place) : what will become 
of him within a few generations, but a high priest in a low Jerusa- 
lem, or a great Pope in a small Rome? And then, where is the 
difference between him and a bishop ; or, rather, between him and 
a Pope ? not so much in the quality of his jurisdiction, when in effect 
he may be his own judge, as in the quantity of his diocese or tem- 
poralities. Or in case he be politic, as some popes have been glad, 
for their advantage, to tyrannize popularity, so he may chance be 
content for his advancement, to popularize tyrannically, and shall 
not be the first of the clergy that hath cunningly done it with a 
comely grace. 

Something there must be of a monarchy, in free states ; and 
something there will be of free states, in a monarchy. The discreeter 
and uprighter the curate is, the more circumspectly he will walk, 
and degenerate the less. Yet what generation without degenera- 
tion, or what revolution without irregularity ? One inconvenience 
begetteth another : enormities grow like evil weeds : take heed of 
a mischief, and where then will be the corruptions ? Or how shall 
defection (acknowledging no primacy or superiority in any person 
or court), retire to his first institution, if, per case, there should grow 
a conspiracy in fellowship ; one consistory justify another for ad- 
vantage, and their whole synods fall out, in consequence, to be like 


their parts ? Men may err, and frailty will slip. What should I 
allege histories or authorities ? It is no news for infirmity to fall 
when it should stand, or for appetite to rebel when it should obey. 
Every son of Adam, a reed shaken with wind of passion, a weak 
vessel, a scholar of imperfection, a master of ignorance, a doctor of 
error, a pastor of concupiscence, a superintendant of avarice, a lord 
of ambition, a prince of sin, a slave of mortality. Flesh is flesh, 
and blood a wanton, a changeling, a compound of contrary elements, 
a revolting and retrograde planet, a sophister, an hypocrite, an im- 
postor, an apostata, an heretic, as convertible as Mercury, as variable 
as the weathercock, as lunatic as the moon ; a generation of corrup- 
tion, a whore of Babylon, a limb of the world, and an imp of the 

It is their own argument in other men's cases, and why should 
it not be other men's argument in their case, unless they can shew 
a personal privilege ad imprimendum solum? They may speak as 
they list ; terms of sanctification and mortification are free for them 
that will use them, but the common opinion is, even of the forwardest 
skirmishers at this day, they do like other men, and live like the 
children of the world, and the brethren of themselves. Some of 
them have their neighbours' good leave, to be their own proctors or 
advocates, if they please ; yet how probable is it they are now at 
the very best, and even in the neatest and purest plight of their in- 
corruption, whilst their minds are abstracted from worldly thoughts, 
to a high meditation of their supposed heavenly reformation ; and 
whilst it necessarily behoveth them to stand charily and nicely 
upon the credit of their integrity, sincerity, preciseness, godliness, 
zeal, and other virtues ? When such respects are over, and their 
purpose compassed according to their heart's desire, who can tell 
how they or their successors may use the keys, or how they will 
bestir them with the sword ? 

If flesh prove not a Pope Joan, and blood a Pope Hildebrand, 


good enough. Accidents, that have happened, may happen again ; 
and all things under the sun are subject to casualty, mutability, and 
corruption. At all adventures, it is a brave position to maintain a 
sovereign and supreme authority in every consistory, and to exempt 
the minister from superior censure, like the high-priest, or great 
pontiff, whom Dionysius Halicarnassus calleth wvitevfavw. He had 
need be a wise and conscionable man, that should be a parliament 
or a chancery unto himself: and what a furniture of divine per- 
fections were requisite in the church, where so many ministers, so 
many spiritual high justices of oyer and terminer, and every one a 
supreme tribunal, a synod, a general council, a canon law, a heavenly 
law and gospel unto himself? If no serpent can come within his 
Paradise, safe enough. Or were it possible that the pastor (although 
a man, yet a divine man), should, as it were by inheritance or suc- 
cession, continue a saint from generation to generation, is it also 
necessary that the whole company of the redoubted seniors should 
wage everlasting war with the flesh, the world, and the devil, and 
eternally remain an incorruptible Areopage, without wound or scar? 
Never such a college or fraternity upon earth, if that be their inviola- 
ble order. But God help conceit, that buildeth churches in the air, 
and platformeth disciplines without stain or spot. 

They complain of corruptions ; and worthily, where corruptions 
encroach, (I am no patron of corruptions), but what a surging sea 
of corruptions would overflow within few years, in case the sword 
of so great and ample authority, as that at Jerusalem most capital, 
or this at Geneva most redoubted, were put into the hand of so 
little capacity in government, so little discretion in discipline, so 
little judgment in causes, so little moderation in living, so little 
constancy in saying, or doing, so little gravity in behaviour, or so 
little whatsoever should procure reverence in a. magistrate, or esta- 
blish good order in a commonwealth. Travel through ten thousand 
parishes in England ; and when you have taken a favourable view 


of their substantialest, and sufficientest aldermen, tell me in good 
sooth, what a comely show they would make in a consistory; or 
with how solemn a presence they would furnish a council table. I 
believe Grimaldus did little think of any such senators, when he 
writ de Optimo Senators : or did Doctor Bartholomew Philip, in his 
Perfect Counsellor, ever dream of any such counsellors? Petty 
principalities, petty tyrants, and such senates, such senators. Wit 
might devise a pleasurable dialogue betwixt the leather pilch and 
the velvet coat, and help to persuade the better to deal neighbourly 
with the other ; the other to content himself with his own calling. 
I deny not but the short apron may be as honest a man or as good 
a Christian as the long gown ; but methinks he should scantly be 
so good a judge or assistant in doubtful causes : and I suppose Ne 
sutor ultra crepidam is as fit a proverb now as ever it was, since 
that excellent painter rebuked that saucy cobler. Every subject 
is not born to be a magistrate or officer; and who knoweth not 
whose creature superior power is? They are very wise, that are 
wiser than he, by whose divine permission every one is that he is. 
The Laconical Ephonj hath lately borne a great swing in some reso- 
lute discourses of princes and magistrates, that thought they saved 
the world from the abomination of desolation, when they found out 
a bridle or yoke for princes : but old Aristotle was a deep politician 
in diebus illis ; and his reasons against that Ephorie (for Aristotle 
confuted the Ephorie with sounder arguments than ever it was con- 
firmed to this day) would not yet perhaps be altogether contemned : 
that so great judicial causes were committed to men indued with so 
little or no virtue : that the poor plebeians, for very penury, were 
easily bribed and corrupted : that there ensued an alteration of the 
State, the good kings being fain to curry favour with their great 
masters, and to become popular. Whether this would be the end 
and may be the mark of those or our populars, I offer it to their 
consideration that are most interested in such motions of Ephories 
and Seniories. 



The world is beholding to brave and heroical minds that, like 
Hercules, would practise means to pull down tyranny, small or 
great ; and reform whole empires and churches, like the three vic- 
torious emperors surnamed Magni, Constantine, Theodosius, and 
Charles. Thanks were an unsufficient recompense for so noble in- 
tentions. It must be a guerdon of value, that should countervail 
their desert, that pretend so fatherly and patronly a care of re-edi- 
fying commonwealths and churches. 

Some voluntary counsellors do well in a state : and men of ex- 
traordinary creation, singularly qualified for the purpose, are worth 
their double weight in gold. When other sleep, they watch; 
when other play, they work; when other feast, they fast; when 
other laugh, they sigh ; whiles other are content to be lulled in se- 
curity and misled in abuse, they occupy themselves in devising preg- 
nant bonds of assurance, and exquisite models of reformation. Which 
must presently be advanced, without further consultation, or they 
have courage, and will use it in maintenance of so divine abstracts. 

Melancholy is peremptory in resolution, and Choler an eager 
executioner. Were it not for those two invincible arguments, there 
might still be order taken with other reasons and authorities what- 
soever. They do well to presuppose the best of their own designs, 
and to give out cards of fortunate islands, artificially drawn : but 
as I never read or heard of any people that committed swords into 
such hands, but bought their experience with loss, and had a hard 
pennyworth of their soft cushion ; so, in my simple consideration, I 
cannot conceive how Ignorance should become a meeter officer than 
Knowledge, Affection a more incorrupt magistrate than Reason, 
headlong Rashness or wilful Stubbornness a more upright judge than 
mature Deliberation ; base occupations enact and establish better 
orders than liberal sciences, or honourable professions, (any traffic, 
howsoever current or advantageous, hath been judged undecent for 
a senator) ; tag and rag administer all things absolutely well, with 
due provision against whatsoever possible inconveniences, where so 


many faults are found with persons of better quality, that incom- 
parably have more skill in the administration of public affairs, 
more knowledge and experience in causes, more respect in pro- 
ceeding, more regard of their credit, more sense of dangerous enor- 
mities or contagious abuses, more care of the flourishing and durable 
estate of the prince, the commonwealth, and the church. Nay, I 
can see no reason, according to the best grounds of policy that 
ever I read, but for every civil tyranny, or petty misdemeanor, that 
can possibly happen now, the government standing as it doth, there 
must needs upstart a hundred barbarous tyrannies and hugeous 
outrages, were the new platforms, acts of parliament, and the corn- 
plotters, such high commissioners as are described in their own pro- 
jects, the flourishes of unexperienced wits. When they have nothing 
else to allege, that should make them superior or equal to the pre- 
sent officers, Conscience must be their text, their gloss, their sanc- 
tuary, their tenure, and their strong hold. Indeed, Conscience, 
grounded upon science, is a double anchor, that neither deceiveth 
nor is deceived ; and no better rule than a regular or public con- 
science, in divinity ruled by divinity, in law by law, in art by art, 
in reason by reason, in experience by experience. Other irregular 
or private Conscience, in public functions, will fall out to be but a 
lawless church, a shipman's hose, a juggler's stick, a phantastical 
freehold, and a conceited tenure in capite ; as interchangeable as 
the moon, and as fallible as the wind. How barratous and mutinous 
at every puff of suggestion, let the world judge ! I would there 
lacked a present example, as hot as fresh : but hot love soon cold, 
and the fits of youth like the showers of April. There goeth a 
pretty Fable of the Moon, that, on a time, she earnestly besought 
her mother to provide her a comely garment, fit and handsome for 
her body ; how can that be, sweet daughter, (quoth the mother) 
sith your body never keepeth at one certain state, but changeth 
every day in the month? That private conscience, the sweet 


daughter of Fancy, be the moral ; and the assurance of the common 
people, where there wanteth a curb, the application. What came- 
leon so changeth his colour as Affection ? or what polypus so va- 
riable as populus, chorus, fluvius? 

Doctor Kelke, when he was vice-chancellor in Cambridge, 
would often tell the advocates, and proctors in the consistory there, 
that he had a knack of conscience for their knack of law. Truly, 
the man, as he was known to be learned and religious, so seemed 
to carry a right honest and harmless mind, and would many times 
be pleasantly disposed, after his blunt manner : but, in very deed, 
his conscience (be it spoken without appeachment of his good me- 
mory) other whiles proved a knack, and admitted more incon- 
veniences (some would have said, committed more absurdities) 
than became the gravity and reputation of that judicious consistory, 
Yet were this new plotted consistory erected, according to their 
own imagination, even upon the top of the presumed Mount Sion ; 
by the favour of that goodly prospect I dare undertake, amongst so 
many thousand ministers, with episcopal, or more than episcopal 
authority, there must be but a few hundred judges like Doctor 
Kelke ; and a very great dearth of such assistants or seniors, as that 
flourishing university affordeth. Alas! many thousands of them 
unworthy to carry the beadle's staff before the one, or their books 
after the other : how meet for supreme or free jurisdiction, I report 
me unto you. 

It is notably said of Aristotle, in his Politics : He that would 
have the law to rule, would have a god to rule ; but he that com- 
mitteth the rule to a man, committeth the rule to a beast. The 
law is a mind without appetite, a soul without a body, a judge 
without flesh and blood, a balance without partiality, a mean with- 
out extremes. Where conscience is such a law, I am for c>Jh- 
science ; let us profess no other law ; let us build us Consistories 
and tabernacles upon that hill of Equity; let us dwell in those 


Elysian fields of integrity ; let us honour that incorruptible sceptre 
of sincerity ; let us set the imperial crown upon the head of that 
policy, and let that discipline wear the pontifical mitre. The 
world wrongeth itself infinitely, if it runneth not to the gaze of that 
beautiful Belvedere, or refuseth any order from that sacred oracle. 
Otherwise, if men be men, and that Consistory no quire of angels 
or tribunal of saints, but a meeting of neighbours, some of them 
rude and gross enough, after the homeliest guise, (for, without 
miraculous illumination, it must necessarily be so in most parishes); 
now, I beseech you, hath not consideration some reason to fear the 
Delphical sword? And the convented party, that was nothing 
afraid of the dean or the canons, They, quoth he, are good gentle- 
men, and my favourable friends, but the chapter is the devil ; would 
peradventure go nigh hand to say as much for the new Consistory 
as for the old chapter. Our minister is a zealous preacher; and 
such and such my honest neighbours : but God bless me from the 
curst consistory. They that can skill of popular humours, and 
know the course of mechanical dealings, or artisan's governments, 
or what you please, can hardly hope for any such paradise or All- 
hallows, in Honey-lane, as is plausibly pourtrayed in some late 
draughts of reformation, sweeter in discourse than in practice. I 
will not prophesy of contingents in speculation : but, were their 
complot a matter in esse, it is possible that even the platformers 
themselves should have no such exceeding cause to joy in their 
redoubted seniors. Some potestats are quaint men, and will by 
fits bear a brain, maugre the best reason, or purest conscience in a 
consistory. And God knoweth how the people would digest it, 
(especially after some little trial of their inexorable rigour, and 
other surly dealing), that their neighbour Whatchicalt, sometime no 
wiser than his fellows, and such-and-such a freeholder of this-and- 
that homely occupation, (somewhat base for a senator,) should so 
jollily perk on the Bench, amongst the fathers conscript, when some 


that have a state of inheritance, or maintain themselves upon civiler 
trades, must humbly wait at the bar, and yield themselves obedient 
to the stern commandments of those sage benchers. Iwis, the 
penny is a strong argument with such natures ; and he that carries 
the heaviest purse, how unmeet soever he may seem for a consistory, 
thinketh himself mightily wronged unless he be taken for the best, 
or one of the best in the parish; and if, for his countenance, or 
other charitable respect, he will not stick sometime to pleasure a 
good fellow or a poor neighbour, (some good fellows are kill-cows, 
and some poor neighbours all heart), he may, perhaps, get some 
hardy partakers, and bear himself for as mighty a man in the 
borough or village as some of the foresaid redoubted potestats. 
How that would be allowed in consistory, or how a thousand suits, 
quarrels, uproars, and hurly-burlies might be pacified, yet unpro- 
vided for, or unthought upon by the compendious Sumnists, it 
would be considered in time, whilst there is leisure from practice. 
For, after the Consistory is once up, in such sweating harvest of 
most busy business, a simple pragmatic may easily prognosticate 
how small a remnant of leisure will remain for consideration. 

There was much ado, and otherwhiles little help, first at Je- 
rusalem, with one Synedrion, and then at Geneva, with one Seniory, 
the two only exemplary presbyteries, (for other primitive Elderships 
will not fit the turn) ; what a wonderful stir would one, and some 
fifty-two thousand consistories make in England ? Were not our Re- 
formation likely to prove a greater sweat, or a mightier draught, 
than any in Grafton's, Stowe's, or Holinshed's chronicle? Martin, 
under correction of your high court of conscience, give me leave to 
bethink me at once upon the firework of your discipline, and 
Phaeton's regiment, in the hot countries of the Orient. When his 
brave design came to the execution, solitaquejugum gravitate care* 
bat ; a light beginning, a heavy ending : 

Nee scit, qu& sit iter ; nee si sciat, imperet illis ; 


and so forth : (it is not conceit or courage, but skill and authority 
that manage th government with honour) : what was the issue of 
that younkerly and presumptuous enterprise but a deluge of fire, 
as ruthful and horrible as Deucalion's deluge of water? 

Magnae pereunt cum moenibus Urbes : 
Cumque suis tolas populis inceudia Gentes 
In cinerem vertunt. 

You can best translate it yourself, and I leave the warm applica- 
tion to the hot interpreter, with addition of that short but weighty 
and most remarkable advertisement, Poenam Phaeton, pro munere 
poscis. Phaeton, thou desirest thy ruin for thy advancement; and 
Martin, thou aftectest thou wottest not what : A discipline ? a con- 
fusion : A reformation ? a deformation : A salve ? a plague : A bliss ? 
a curse : A commonwealth? a common woe : A happy and heavenly 
church ? a wretched and hellish synagogue. Amount in imagina- 
tion as high, as the haughtiest conceit can aspire, and platform the 
most exquisite designs of pure perfection, that the nicest curiosity 
can devise ; were not the wisest on your side most simply sim- 
ple, in weighing the consequents of such antecedents, they would 
never so inconsiderately labour their own shame, the misery of their 
brethren, the desolation of the ministry, and the destruction of the 

Good Martin, be good to the church, to the ministry, to 
the state, to thy country, to thy patrons, to thy friends, to thy 
brethren, to thyself; and, as thou lovest thyself, take heed of 
old puritanism, new anabaptism, and final barbarism. Thou art 
young in years, I suppose ; but younger in enterprise, I am as- 
sured. Thy age in some sort pleadeth thy pardon ; and couldest 
thou, with any reasonable temperance, advise thyself in time, as it 
is high time to assuage thy stomachous and everlasting outrage, 
there be few wise men of quality but would pity thy rash pro- 
ceeding, and impute thy wanton scurrilous vein to want of expe^- 


rience and judgment, which is seldom ripe in the spring. I will 
not stand to examine the spirit that speaketh or enditeth in such a 
phrase ; but if that were the tenour of a godly or zealous style, me- 
thinks some other saint or godly man should someway have used 
the like elocution before ; unless you meant to be as singular in 
your form of writing as in your manner of censuring, and to publish 
as grave an innovation in words as in other matters. Some spiritual 
motion it was, that caused you so sensibly to apply your ruffling 
speech and whole method to the feeding and tickling of that 
humour, that is none of the greatest students of divinity, unless it 
be your divinity ; nor any of the likeliest creatures to advance re- 
formation, unless it be your reformation. But, whatsoever your 
motion were, or howsoever you persuaded yourself that a plausible 
and roisterly course would win the hearts of good fellows, and make 
ruffians become precisians, in hope to mount higher than Highgate 
by the fall of Bishopsgate, some of your well-willers hold a certain 
charitable opinion, that to reform yourself were your best re- 

Good discipline would do many good, and do Martin no harm, 
had lie leisure from training of other to train himself, and, as one 
termed it, to trim his own beard. Howbeit, in my method, know- 
ledge would go before practice, and doctrine before discipline. I 
challenge few or none for learning, which I rather love as my 
friend, or honour as my patron, than profess as my faculty ; but 
some approved good scholars of both universities, and some ho- 
nourable wise men of a higher university, take Martin to be none 
of the greatest clerks in England, and marvel how he should pre- 
sume to be a Doctor of discipline, that hath much ado to shew 
himself a Master of doctrine. For mine own part, I hope he is a 
better doctrinist than disciplinist ; or else I must needs conclude 
Pride is a busy man, and a deeper counsellor of States than of 


Public projects become public persons, and may do well in some 
other, being well employed : but private persons, and the common 
crews of platformers, might have most use of private designments, 
appropriate to their own vocation, profession, or quality. When I 
find Martin as neat a reformer of his own life as of other men's 
actions, it shall go hard ; but I will in some measure proportion my 
commendation to the singularity of his desert ; which I would be 
glad to crown with a garland of present, and a diadem of future 
praise. For I long to see a lark without a crest, and would travel 
far to discover a reformer without a fault ; or only with such a 
fault as for the rareness should deserve, or for the strangeness might 
challenge, to be chronicled, like the eclipse of the sun. The state 
demonstrative, not overlaboured at this instant, would fain be em- 
ployed in blazoning a creature of such perfections ; and the very 
soul of charity thirsteth to drink of that clear Aqua Vita. It is not 
the first time that I have preferred a gentleman of deeds before a 
lord of words ; and what if I once, by way of familiar discourse, 
said I was a Protestant in the antecedent, but a Papist in the con- 
sequent ? for I liked faith in the premises, but wished works in the 
conclusion ; as St. Paul beginneth with justification, but endeth 
with sanctification ; and the school-men reconcile many confuta- 
tions in one distinction: we are justified by faith apprehensively; 
by works declaratively ; by the blood of Christ effectively. I hope 
it is no evil sign for the flower to flourish, for the tree to fructify, 
for the fire to warm, for the sun to shine, for truth to embrace vir- 
tue, for the intellectual good to praise the moral good, for the cause 
to effect. He meant honestly, that said merrily, he took St. 
Austin's and St. Gregory's, by Paul's, to be the good friends of 
St. Faith's, under Paul's. What needeth more? If your reforma- 
tion be such a restorative as you pretend, what letteth, but the 
world should presently behold a visible difference between .the 
fruits of the pure and the corrupt diet ? Why ceaseth the heavenly 


discipline to pen her own apology, not in one or two scribbled pam- 
phlets of counterfeit compliments, but in a thousand living volumes 
of heavenly virtues ? Divine causes were ever wont to fortify them- 
selves, and weaken their adversaries, with divine effects, as con- 
spicuous as the brightest sunshine. 

The apostles and primitive founders of the churches were no 
railers or scoffers ; but painful travellers, but zealous preachers, but 
holy livers, but fair spoken, mild, and loving men, even like Moses, 
like David, like the son of David ; the three gentlest persons that 
ever walked upon earth. Wheresoever they became, it appeared, 
by the whole manner of their meek and sweet proceeding, that they 
had been the servants of a meek Lord, and the disciples of a sweet 
Master; insomuch, that many nations which knew not God, enter- 
tained them as the ambassadors or orators of some god, and were 
mightily persuaded to conceive a divine opinion of him, whom they 
so divinely preached, and even to believe that he could be no less 
than the Son of the great God. Their miracles got the hearts of 
numbers ; but their sermons and orations were greater wonders than 
their miracles, and won more ravished souls to heaven. Their doc- 
trine was full of power, their discipline full of charity, their elo- 
quence celestial, their zeal invincible, their life inviolable, their con- 
versation loving, their profession humility, their practice humility, 
their conquest humility. Read the sweet ecclesiastical histories, 
replenished with many cordial narrations of their sovereign virtues, 
and peruse the most rigorous censures of their professed enemies, 
Pliny, Suetonius, Tacitus, Antoninus, Symachus, Lucian, Libanius, 
Philostratus, Eunapius, or any like Latinist or Grecian, (I except 
not Porphyry, Hierocles, or Julian himself), and what Christian or 
heathen judgment, with any indifferency can deny, but they always 
demeaned themselves like well-affected, fair-conditioned, innocent, 
and kind persons, many ways gracious, and some ways admirable ? 
Peace was their war, unity their multiplication, good words and 


good deeds their edifying instruments ; a general humanity toward 
all, wheresoever they travelled, and a special beneficence toward 
every one with whom they conversed, one of their sovereign means 
for the propagation of Christianity. They knew his merciful and 
godful meaning, that, in an infinite and incomprehensible love, de- 
scended from heaven to save all upon earth, and remembered how 
graciously his divine self vouchsafed to converse with publicans 
and other sinners ; what a sweet and peerless example of humblest 
humility he gave his disciples, when, with his own immaculate 
hands, he washed their feet ; how appliably he framed himself to 
the proper disposition of every nation, in drawing unto him the 
magicians of the East, with the wonderous sight of a new star ; in 
moving the Jews with miracles and parables ; in shewing himself a 
prophet and the very Messiah, to the Samaritans ; in sending elo. 
quent Paul to the eloquent Grecians, zealous Peter to the devout 
Hebrews and virtuous Romans, his brother Andrew to the stout 
Scythians, incredulous Thomas to the infidel Parthians, and so forth: 
what a loving and precious dear testament he left behind him, and 
with how unspeakable favour he bequeathed and disposed the rich 
hereditaments and inestimable goods of his kingdom ; how nearly 
it concerned the members of one body, without the least intestine 
disagreement or faction, to tender and cherish one another with 
mutual indulgence ; how fruitful!}' the militant church had already 
increased by concord, like a plant of the triumphant church, 
whose blissful concert incomparably passeth the sweetest harmony. 
The effect of such divine motions was heavenly ; and whilst that 
celestial course continued, with an inviolable consent of united 
minds, even in some dissension of opinions (for there was ever some 
difference in opinions), the gospel reigned, and the church flourished 
miraculously. It would make the heart of piety to weep for joyful 
compassion, to remember how the blood of those, and those most 
patient, but more glorious martyrs, that might be slain, but not 


vanquished, was the seed of the church. The church, that grew 
victorious and mighty by the beheading of Paul and James ; by the 
crucifying of Peter, Andrew, Philip, and Simon ; by the stoning of 
Stephen ; by the burning of Mark and Barnabas ; by the flaying of 
Bartholomew ; by the murdering of Thomas with a dart, of Matthew 
with a sword, of Matthias with an axe, of James Alphaeus with a 
club ; of how many renowned martyrs, with how many cruel and 
tyrannical torments, immortal monuments of their invincible faith, 
and most honourable constancy. When asperity and discord, de- 
generating from that primitive order, took another course, and 
began to proceed more like furies of hell than saints of the church, 
or honest neighbours of the world ; alas, what followed ? And unless 
we retire to our principles, although mischief upon mischief be bad 
enough, yet ruin upon ruin will be worse. 

It is not a ruffianly style, or a tumultuous plot, that will amend 
the matter ; some apostolical virtues would do well ; and that same 
evangelical humility were much worth. In the mean season, surely 
reverend bishops and learned doctors, albeit corruptible men, should 
be meeter to administer or govern churches, than lusty cutters, or 
insufficient plotters, albeit reformed creatures. Sweet Martin, as 
well junior as senior (for juniors and seniors are all one, as old 
Master Raye said in his mayoralty), and you sweet whirlwinds, 
that so sweetly bestir you at this instant; now, again and again I 
beseech you, either be content to take a sweeter course, or take all 
for me. My interest in these causes is small ; and howsoever some 
busy heads love to set themselves a work, when they might be 
otherwise occupied, yet, by their favours, there is a certain thing 
that passeth all understanding, which I commend universally unto 
all, especially unto my friends, and singularly unto myself. Nulla 
salus bello: pacem te poscimns omnes. No law to the Fecial law, 
nor any conquest to Pacification. Would Christ, Reformation could 
be entreated to begin itself, and Discipline would be so good as to 


shew by example of her own house, where she inhabiteth and con- 
sorteth, what a precious and heavenly thing it were for a whole 
kingdom to live in such a celestial harmony of pure virtues, and all 
perfections. Theories and ideas are quickly imagined in an aspiring 
phantasy; but an inviolable practice of a divine excellency in human 
frailty, without excess, defect, or abuse, doubtless were a crystal 
worth the seeing, and a glorious mirror of eternal imitation. When 
contemplation hath a little more experience, it shall find that action 
is scantly so smooth and nimble a creature as speculation ; two 
notable precedents in concrete, more rare than twenty singular types 
in abstracto : they that shoot beyond the mark in imagination, come 
short in trial : good intentions were never too rife, and the best in- 
tentions have gone astray. All men are not of one mould : there is 
as great difference of ministers and aldermen, as of other persons ; 
even where the spirit is strong, the flesh is sometime found weak 
enough ; and the world is a world of temptations, murmnrings, 
offences, quarrels, trespasses, crimes, and continual troubles in one 
sort or other. 

If the precisest and most scrupulous Treatises have much ado 
to uphold the credit of any imperfection or estimation with their own 
associates (how many heads, so many plots), what may reason con- 
ceive of the assurance or maturity of their judicial or other moral 
proceedings in esse? When his and his' Scripture, after some pretty 
pausing, is become apocryphal with his and his own adherents^ 
whose writing was scripture with many of them, how can any of 
them ascertain or resolve themselves of the canonical incorruption, 
or authentical omni-sufficiency of his or his actual government? 
When even He, that within these few years was alleged for text, 
hath so emproved his authority with a number of his ferventest 
brethren, that he will now be scantly allowed for a current gloss, 
why should defeated affection any longer delude itself with a pre- 
judicate and vain imagination of an alchymistical discipline, not so 


sweet in conceits, as sour in proof; and as defective in needful pro- 
vision, as excessive in unneedful presumption ? If second cogita- 
tions be riper and sounder than the first, may not third or fourth 
consultations take more and more advisement ? If Bishopsgate be 
infected, is it unpossible for Aldersgate to be attainted? and if 
neither can be long clear in an universal plague of corruption, what 
reason hath zeal to fly from God's blessing into a warm sun ? What 
a wisdom were it to change for the worse ? or what a notorious folly 
were it to innovate, without infallible assurance of the better ? What 
politic State, or considerate people, ever laboured any alteration, 
civil or ecclesiastical, without pregnant evidence of some singular 
or notable good, as certain in consequence as important in estima- 
tion? To be short (for I have already been over long, and shall 
hardly qualify those heady younkers with any discourse), had Mar- 
tin his lust, or Penry his wish, or Udal his mind, or Brown his will, 
or Kett his fancy, or Barrow his pleasure, or Greenwood his heart's 
desire, or the freshest practitioners their longing (even to be judges 
of the consistory, or fathers conscript of the senate, or Domine 
factotum, or themselves wot not what), there might fall out five hun- 
dred practicable cases, and a thousand disputable questions, in a year 
(the world must be reframed anew, or such points decided), where- 
with they never disquieted their brains, and wherein the learnedest 
of them could not say A. to the arches, or B. to a battledore. 

If the grave motioners of discipline (who, no doubt, are learn- 
eder men, and might be wiser, but Mr. Travers, M. Cartwright, 
Doctor Chapman, and all the grayer heads, begin to be stale with 
these novelists), have bethought themselves upon all cases and 
cautels in practice, of whatsoever nature, and have thoroughly pro- 
vided against all possible mischiefs, inconveniences, and irregulari- 
ties, as well future as present ; I am glad they come so well pre- 
pared ; surely some of the earnestest and eagerest solicitors are not 
yet so furnished. Words are good fellows and merry men; but, in 


my poor opinion, it were not amiss for some sweating and fierce 
doers at this instant, that would down with Clement and up with 
Hildebrand, either to know more at home, or to stir less abroad. 

It is no trifling matter in a monarchy to hoise up a new au- 
thority, like that of the Jewish Consistory above kings, or that of 
the Lacedemonian Ephori above Tyrants, or that of the Roman 
Senate above Emperors. Howbeit if there be no remedy, but M. 
Fire must be the pastor, M. Air the doctor, Goodman Water the 
deacon, and Goodman Earth the alderman of the church, let the 
young Calf and the old Ass draw cuts whether of their heads shall 
wear the garland. Arid thus much in generality touching Martin- 
izing ; being urged to defend it if I durst, but for fear of indignation 
I durst not. The several particulars, and more gingerly niceties of 
rites, signs, terms, and what not, I refer to the discussion of pro- 
fessed divines, or reserve for more leisure, and fitter occasion. 

As for that new-created spirit, whom double V, like another 
Doctor Faustus, threateneth to conjure up at leisure, (for I must 
return to the terrible creature that subscribeth himself Martin's 
Double V, and will needs also be my tittle-tittle), were that spirit 
disposed to appear in his former likeness, and to put the necro- 
mancer to his purgation, he could peradventure make the conjuring 
wizard forsake the centre of this circle, and betake him to the cir- 
cumference of his heels. Simple creature, Iwis thou art too young an 
artist to conjure him up, that can exorcise thee down ; or to lamback 
him with ten years' preparation, that can lambskin thee with a day's 
warning. Out upon thee for a cowardly lambacker, that stealestin 
at the back-door, and thinkest to filch advantage on the back wing. 
Knaves are backbiters, whores belly-biters, and both sheep-biters. 
Pedomancy fitter for such conjurers, than either Chiromancy or Ne- 
cromancy, or any familiar spirit, but contempt. It is somebody's 
fortune to be haunted with back friends; and I could report a 
strange dialogue betwixt the Clerk of Backchurch and the Chaunter- 


of Pancridge, that would make the better vizard of the two to blush ; 
but I favour modest ears : and a thousand honest tongues will jus- 
tify it to thy face, Thou art as it were a gross ideot, and a very 
Ass in presenti, to imagine that thou couldst go scot-free in this 
saucy reckoning, although the party conjured should say nothing 
but mum. Honesty goeth never unbacked ; and Truth is a sufficient 
patron to itself; and I know one that hath written a pamphlet, 
intitled Cock-a-lilly; or, The White Son of the Black Art. But he 
that can massacre Martin's wit, (thou rememberest thine own phrase) 
can rot Pat-hatchet's brain ; and he that can tickle Mar-prelate with 
taunts, can twitch double V to the quick : albeit he threaten no less 
than the siege of Troy in his note-book, and his pen resound like 
the harnessed womb of the Trojan horse. I have seen a broad 
sword stand at the door when a poinado hath entered ; and although 
I am neither Ulysses nor Outis, yet perhaps I can tell how No-body 
may do, that Somebody cannot do. Polyphemus was a mighty 
fellow, and conjured Ulysses' companions into excrements; (few 
giants ever so hideous as Polyphemus) ; but poor Outis was even 
with him, and nobody conjured his goggle eye as well. 

I pray thee, sweet Pap, insult not over much upon quiet men ; 
though my pen be nobody at a hatchet, and my tongue less than no- 
body at a beetle, yet patience loveth not to be made a cart of Croy- 
don, and no such libbard for a lively ape as fordead Silence. The 
merry gentleman deviseth to disport himself, and his copesmates with 
a pleasurable conceit quaking ears; and all my works, at least six 
sheets in quarto, called by myself, The first tome of my familiar Epistle: 
two impudent lies, and so known notoriously. He might as truly 
forge any lewd or villanous report of any man in England ; and for 
his labour challenge to be preferred to the clerkship of the whet- 
stone, which he is able to maintain sumptuously, with a mint of 
quaint and uncouth similes, dainty monsters of nature. I must 
deal plainly with the spawn of rank calumny ; his knavish and 


foolish malice palpably bewrayeth itself in most odious fictions, 
meet to garnish the foresaid famous office of the whetstone. But 
what sayeth his own courageous pen of his own adventurous ears ? 
If ripping up of lives make sport, have with thee knuckle deep: it shall 
never be said, that I dare not venture mine ears where Martin hazards 
his neck. Some men are not so prodigal of their ears, how lavish 
soever Martin may seem of his neck ; and albeit every man cannot 
compile such grand volumes as Euphues, or rear such mighty tomes 
as Pap-hatchet; yet he might have thought, other poor men have 
tongues, and pens to speak something when they are provoked un- 
reasonably. But loosers may have their words, and comedians 
their acts ; such dry bobbers can lustily strike at other, and cun- 
ningly rap themselves. He hath not played the vice-master of 
Paul's, and the foolmaster of the theatre for naughts : himself a 
mad lad as ever twanged, never troubled with any substance of 
wit, or circumstance of honesty, sometime the fiddle-stick of Oxford, 
now the very babble of London, would feign forsooth have some 
other esteemed, as all men value him. A workman is easily de- 
scried by his terms ; every man speaketh according to his art. 

I am threatened with a Bable, and Martin menaced with a 
Comedy ; a fit motion for a jester, and a player to try what may be 
done by employment of his faculty. Babies and Comedies are par- 
lous fellows to decypher and discourage men, (that is the point), with 
their witty flouts and learned jerks, enough to lash any man out of 
countenance. Nay, if you shake the painted scabbard at me, I have 
done : and all you, that tender the preservation of your good names, 
were best to please Pap-hatchet, and fee Euphues betimes, for fear 
lest he be moved, or some one of his apes hired, to make a play of 
you ; and then is your credit quite undone for ever and ever. Such 
is the public reputation of their plays. He must needs be dis- 
couraged, whom they decypher. Better anger an hundred other 


than two such, that have the stage at commandment, and can fur- 
nish out vices and devils at their pleasure. Gentlemen, beware of 
a chafing pen, that sweateth out whole reams of paper, and whole 
theatres of jests : 'tis a venture if he die not of the paper sweat, 
should he chance to be never so little overchafed ; for the jest- 
dropsy is not so peremptory. But no point of cunning to the Tale 
of the Tub; that is the profound mystery, and the very secret of 
secrets. The sweet sister's answer, that in her conscience thought 
lechery the superficies of sin, (a rare word with women, but by her an- 
swer she should seem to be learned) ; the true tale of one of Martin's 
godly sons, that having the company of one of his sisters in the open 
fields, said he would not smother up sin, and deal in hugger-mugger 
against his conscience; (the historiographer hath many privy intelli- 
gences) ; the sober tale of the Eldest Elder, that received forty angels 
at his table, where he sat with no less than forty good dishes of the 
greatest dainties, in more pomp than a pope ; (he was not of the 
starved Pythagorean or Platonical diet, but liberal exhibition may 
maintain good hospitality) ; the zealous Love-letter, or Corinthian 
Epistle to the Widow, as honest a woman as ever burnt malt; (the 
wooer, or the register of Aretine's religion) ; the holy Oath of the 
Martinist, that thinking to swear by his conscience swore by his con- 
cupiscence; (did not he forget himself, that expressly affirmed, 
Martin will not swear; but with indeed, in sooth, and in truth, he 
cog the dye of deceit ?) these, and the rest of those bawdy inven- 
tions, wherewith that brothelish pamphlet floweth, smell somewhat 
strongly of the pump, and shew the credibility of the author, that 
dareth allege any impudent, profane, or blasphemous fiction to 
serve his turn. 

So he may soon make up the authentical legendary of his 
Hundred merry Tales; as true peradventure as Lucian's true nar- 
rations ; or the heroical histories of Rabelais ; or the brave Legends 


of Errant Knights ; or the egregious pranks of Howleglass, Friar 
Rush, Friar Tuck, and such like ; or the renowned Bugiale of 
Poggius, Racellus, Luscus, Cincius, and that whole Italian crew of 
merry secretaries in the time of Pope Martin the Fifth ; of whom 
our worshipful clerks of the whetstone, Doctor Clare, Doctor 
Bourne, M. Scoggin, M. Skelton, M. Wakefield, divers late Histo- 
riologers, and happily this new tale-founder himself, learned their 
most wonderful faculty. Committing of matrimony ; carousing the 
sap of the church; cutting at the bum card of conscience ; besmearing 
of conscience; spelling of our Father in a horn-book; the railing Reli- 
gion ; and a whole sink of such arrant phrases, savour hotly of the 
same Lucianical breath, and discover the minion secretary aloof. 
Faith, quoth himself, thou wilt be caught by thy style ; indeed 
w r hat more easy than to find the man by his humour, the Midas by 
his ears, the calf by his tongue, the goose by his quill, the play- 
maker by his style, the Hatchet by the Pap? Albertus' secrets, 
Poggius' fables, Bebelius' jests, Scoggins' tales, Wakefield's lies, 
Parson Darcye's knaveries, Tarleton's tricks, Elderton's. ballads, 
Greene's pamphlets, Euphues' similes, double V's phrases, are too 
well known to go unknown. Where the vein of Braggadocio is 
famous, the artery of Pappadocio cannot be obscure. 

Gentlemen, I have given you a taste of his sugar-loaf, that 
weeneth Sidney's dainties, Ascham's comfits, nothing comparable 
to his Pap. Some of you dreamed of electuaries, of gems, and other 
precious restoratives ; of the quintessence of amber and pearl dis- 
solved, of I wot not what incredible delicacies : but his gem-mint 
is not always current ; and as busy men, so painted boxes and gal- 
lipots must have a vacation. Yet welfare the sweet heart of Dia- 
pap, Dia-fig, and Dia-nut, three sovereign defensatives of the com- 
monwealth, and three cordial comformatives of the church. It is 
a good hearing, when good fellows have a care of the common- 
wealth and the church ; and a godly motion, when interluders leave 


penning their pleasurable plays to become zealous ecclesiastical 
writers. Bonafide, some have written notably against Martinism ; 
(it were a busy task for the crediblest precisian to impeach the 
credit of Doctor Bancroft or Doctor Sutcliff) ; but this Mammaday 
hath excellently knocked himself on the sconce with his own hatchet. 
I will cast away no more ink upon compound of simples. The Pap 
is like the Hatchet; the fig like the nut; the country-cuff like the 
hangman's apron ; the dog like the dog ; John Anoke and John 
Astile like the baily of Withernam ; the sign of the Crabtree-cudgel 
like Twackcoat-lane ; Martin's hanging like Pappadocio's mowing ; 
HufF, Ruff, and Snuff, the three tame ruffians of the church, like 
double V ; never a lay in the barrel, better herring ; the beginning, 
the midst, and the end, all in one pickle. Some roses amongst 
pricks do well; and some lilies amongst thorns would have done 
no harm. But envy hath no fancy to the rose of the garden ; and 
what careth malice for the lily of the valley ? 

Would fair names were spells and charms against foul affec- 
tions ! and in some respects I could wish that divinity would give 
humanity leave to conclude otherwise than I must. I could in 
courtesy be content, and in hope of reconciliation desirous, to miti- 
gate the harshest sentences, and mollify the hardest terms. But 
can Truth lie, or Discretion approve folly, or judgment allow 
vanity, or modesty abide impudency, or good manners soothe bad 
speeches ? He that penned the above-mentioned Cock-a-lilly, saw 
reason to display the black artist in his collier colours ; and thought 
it most unreasonable to suffer such light and empty vessels to make 
such a loud and proud rumbling in the air. Other had rather hear 
the learned nightingale than the unlearned parrot; or taste the 
wing of a lark than the leg of a raven. The finest wits prefer the 
loosest period in M. Ascham, or Sir Philip Sidney, before the 
tricksiest page in Euphues or Pap-hatchet. The Muses shame to 
remember some fresh quaffers of Helicon ; and which of the Graces 


or Virtues blusheth not to name some lusty tosspots of rhetoric? 
The stately Tragedy scorneth the trifling Comedy, and the trifling 
Comedy flouteth the new Ruffianism. Wantonness was never such a 
swill-bowl of ribaldry ; nor Idleness ever such a carouser of knavery. 
What honest mind or civil disposition is not accloyed with 
these noisome and nasty gargarisms ? Where is the polished and 
refined eloquence, that was wont to bedeck and embellish humanity ? 
Why should learning be a niggard of his excellent gifts, when im- 
pudency is so prodigal of his rascal trish-trash ? What dainty or neat 
judgment beginneth not to hate his old love, and loathe his ancient 
delight, the press, the most honourable press, the most villanous 
press ? Who smileth not at those, and those trim-trams of gaudy 
wits, how flourishing wits, how fading Avits ? Who laugheth not at 
I'le, I'le, Tie ; or gibeth not at some hundred piebald fooleries, in 
the hair-brained declamation? They whom it nearliest pincheth, 
cannot silence their just disdain ; and I am forcibly urged to inti- 
mate my whole censure, though without hatred to the person or 
derogation from any his commendable gift, yet not without special 
dislike of the bad matter, and general commendation of the vile 
form. The whole work a bald toy, full of stale and wooden jests ; 
and one of the most paltry things that ever was published by gra- 
duate of either university ; good for nothing but to stop mustard 
pots, or rub gridirons, or feather rats' nests, or such like homely 
use. For stationers are already too full of such realms and com- 
monwealths of waste paper ; and find more gain in the lilJy-pot 
blank than in the lilly-pot Euphued ; a day or two fine for sheets, 
and afterwards good for grocers. Vanitas vatiitatum, the sum of 
grudge, the froth of levity, the scum of corruption, and the very 
scurf of rascality ; nothing worthy a scholar or a civil gentleman ; 
altogether fantastical and fond, without rhyme or reason ; so oddly 
huddled and bungled together, in so madbrain sort, and with so 
brain-sick stuff, that in an overflow of so many frivolous and ridi- 


culous pamphlets, I scarcely know any one in all points so incom* 
parably vain and absurd, whereunto I may resemble that most toy- 
ish and piperly trifle, the fruit of an addle and lewd wit, long since 
dedicated to a dissolute and desperate licentiousness. Oh, what 
a Magnifico would he be, were his purse as heavy as his head is 
light, and his heart frank ! Even that same very Mirror of Mad- 
ness hangeth together with some more coherence of reason, and 
smelleth not so rankly of the tavern, the alehouse, the stews, the 
cuckingstool, or other such honest places, as that drunken and 
shameless declamation ; unbeseeming any but an orator of Bedlam, 
a rhetorician of Bridewell, or a discourse of Primrose-hill. And 
although the same French Mirror be ex professo devised in a mad 
garish vein, and stuffed with geer homely enough, fit for a libertine 
and frantic theme ; yet doth it not so basely borrow of the ruffian's 
bag, the tapster's spiggot, the pedlar's pack, the tinker's budget, 
the knave's truss, and the rogue's fardle ; unto all which, and other 
authors of like reputation, but chiefly to the hangman's apron, 
(that, that is the biggin of his wit), this worthy author is deeply 
beholding for great part of his fine conceits and dainty learning ; 
precious ware for Euphued creatures and fantastical colts; whose 
wild and madbrain humour nothing fitteth so just, as the stalest 
dudgen or absurdest balductum, that they or their mates can invent 
in odd and awk speeches, disguisedly shapen after the antic fashion, 
and monstrously shorn, like old Captain Lister's spaniel. 

They that affect such ruffianish braveries, and divide their 
roister-doistering jests into cuts, slashes, and foins, may bestow the 
reading ; for any other of whatsoever quality or calling, it will do 
them as much good as dirt in their shoes, or draff in their bellies : 
and in good sooth, there is all the use, civil or ecclesiastical, that I 
can find of this babe's pap ; whom, for his sweet entertainment 
with pap, fig, and nut, I officiously recommend to the Ship of 
Fools, and the Galeass of Knaves. When he useth himself with 


more modesty, and his friends with more discretion, I may alter my 
style ; (let him change, and I am changed) ; or if already he be 
ashamed of that conjuring leaf, foisted in like a bum-card, I have 
said nothing. Till he disclaimeth his injury in print, or confesseth 
his oversight in writing, or signifieth his penitence in speech, the 
abused party, that had reason to set down the premises without 
favour, hath cause to justify his own hand without fear, and is as 
well in equity to avow truth, as in charity to disavow malice. 

At Trinity-Hall, 
this fifth of November, 1589. 





ise of tfje 










Jfprom the iJribntc 





MR. DISRAELI in the second volume of his Calamities of Authors, 
a book which is probably in every reader's hands, has given so in- 
genious and entertaining an account of the literary quarrel between 
NASH and HARVEY, that it will spare the present Editor the im- 
prudence of an imperfect repetition of the same story. The weak 
protection of learning or grave argument against the intangible and 
unassailable weapons of wit, ridicule, and banter, is there well 
pointed out. Silence, however painful, is perhaps the only shield 
with which the unhappy object can hope to tire out and survive 
the repetition of the elastic reviler's blows. 

But however injudicious for the purposes of self defence were 
Harvey's efforts, they are now become very highly valuable as ma- 
terials for the illustration of cotemporary literature. And this can 
only be effected by a reprint of them : for it is well known that 
they are among the scarcest tracts of our language. Mr. D'Israeli 
has given a decisive reason for this scarcity. It soon " became 
necessary," says he, " to dry up the flood-gates of these rival ink- 
horns, by an order of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The order is 
a remarkable fragment of our literary history, and is thus expressed; 
that all NASHE'S Books and DR. HARVEY'S Bookes be taken where- 
soever they may be found, and that none of the said Bookes be ever 
printed hereafter." 

" This extraordinary circumstance accounts for the excessive 


rarity of Harvey's Four Letters, 1592 \ and that literary scourge of 
Nash's, * Have with you to Saffron-Walden (Harvey's residence), or 
Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up,' 1596 2 1 pamphlets now as costly as 
if they consisted of leaves of gold." 

GABRIEL HARVEY was born about 1545, the son of a rope- 
maker, at Saffron- Walden in Essex, but related to the celebrated 
statesman Sir Thomas Smith. He was educated at Cambridge, 
first at Christ's College, then fellow at Pembroke Hall, 1570; 
and afterwards became fellow of Trinity Hall, 1578. " Spe," says 
Thomas Baker, " et opinione Magister futurus ; sed magna de spe 
excidit 3 ." He was junior proctor 1582 ; was admitted doctor of 
laws at Oxford 1585 ; practised the civil law ; and became an ad- 
vocate of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in Doctors Com- 
mons. He died at Saffron-Walden 1630, aged about 80, as appears 
by an elegy on him composed by Wm. Pearson 4 . " He was," says 
Wood, " esteemed an ingenious man, and an excellent scholar ; 
but it was his and his brother Richard's ill luck to fall into the 
hands of that noted and restless buffoon Tom Nash, in his Apology 
of Pierce Penniless, and Have with you to Saffron-Walden: in both 
which books they are loaden with all the scurrilities imaginable, as 
being, according to Tom's words, false prophets, weather-wizards, 
fortune-tellers, poets, philosophers, orators, historiographers, mounte- 
banks, ballad-makers, &c s ." 

But, since the venom of Nash has long ago ceased to prejudice, 
we must not admit that Harvey, if it were only that he was the 

1 Since reprinted in Archaica, Part IV. 2 See Restituta. 3 Restituta, iii. 215. 
4 Restituta, ut supr. 5 Wood's F. i. 128. 


companion, in literature as well as in personal friendship, of Ed- 
mund Spenser 1 , was either inconsiderable in talents, or unrespect- 
able in morals. That he had a most irritable temper, and was 
infected with a ridiculous and almost childish vanity, cannot be 

But we have no occasion to resort to the credit reflected from 
the friendship of Spenser. The tract now reprinted is a most 
satisfactory proof of extraordinary abilities and acute powers of 
thinking and discrimination, as well as copious, varied, and exten- 
sive learning. It displays not, indeed, eloquence or genius ; it 
is the hard produce of vigorous faculties, constantly exercised in 
scholastic studies ; and rich in an incredible abundance of acquired 
wealth. Its pedantry was at first repulsive to the present Editor ; 
but to him at least this appearance has, on a second or third 
perusal, greatly worn away. To the enquirer into our vernacular 
philology, there is no work of its size which furnishes more curious 
treasures. The profusion of words ; the nicety with which they 
are applied; the art with which the sentences are polished and 
balanced ; the precision of the ideas ; the inexhaustible allusions, 
not only bespeak a most full and exercised mind in the writer, but 
call for some portion of the same cultivation in the reader: the 
pamphlet therefore never was calculated for popularity; but it 
seems to have deserved more fame among the literati than it has 

Pedantic as this work in many parts is, and disgustingly coarse 
as it is in still more, there yet are many places in which its style is 

1 See Todd's Life of Spenser, passim. 


more pure, more polished, more vigorous, and nearer in its approach 
to the best specimens of modern times, than that of most of the 
prose writings of the same period. In their matter perhaps these 
passages may be thought too aphoristic and abstract; and to be 
totally deficient in the glow of fancy or sentiment : but they com- 
municate the thought which they are intended to convey with 
clearness, propriety, and strength. 

Take this, by way of illustration, from an early part. 

" Were it mine own election, I might worthily incur many re- 
proofs, and justly impute them to my simple choice ; but necessity 
hath as little free will as law, and compelleth like a tyrant where it 
cannot persuade like an orator, or advise like a counsellor. Any 
virtue, an honourable commonplace, and a flourishing branch of an 
heavenly tree; politic and militar affairs, the worthiest matters of 
consultation, and the two Herculean pillars of noble states ; the 
private lives of excellent personages in sundry courses, and the 
public actions of puissant nations in sundry governments, shining 
mirrors of notable use for the present time and future ages. Were 
it at my appointment to dispose freely of mine own hours, O, how 
willingly and cheerfully could I spend the freshest and dearest part 
of my life in such arguments of valour ! Learning is a goodly and 
gallant creature in many parts ; and divers members of that beau- 
tiful body upbraid the most exquisite pen and most curious pencil 
of insufficiency : no diligence too much, where no labour enough ; 
the fruitfullest sciences require painfullest industry, and some lively 
principles would be touched to the quick : whatsoever book-case 
or school-point is found by experience to be essential and practi- 


cable in the world, deserveth to be discussed with sharp invention 
and sound judgment. 

" I could yet take pleasure and profit in canvassing some pro- 
blems of natural philosophy, of the mathematics, of geography, 
and hydrography, of other commodious experiments fit to advance 
many valorous actions; and I would upon mine own charges 
travel into any part of Europe to hear some pregnant paradoxes, 
and certain singular questions in the highest professions of learning, 
in physic, in law, in divinity, effectually and thoroughly disputed 
pro and contra; and would think my travel as advantageously 
bestowed to some purposes of importance as they that have adven- 
turously discovered new-found lands, or bravely surprised Indies." 

As Harvey appears to have been an indefatigable reader in al- 
most every branch of literature, it would have been endless to have 
traced out all his allusions, and indeed impossible for any one who 
had not penetrated through all the same tracks of study, now 
obsolete, as himself: but for the purpose of illustrating our verna- 
cular authors, the Editor has added short Notes of Biographical 
reference concerning almost every name which occurs in the text. 


Oct. 26, 1815. 


So then of Pappadocio ; whom, nevertheless, I esteem a hun- 
dred times learneder, and a thousand times honester, than this 
other Braggadocio, that hath more learning than honesty, and more 
money than learning; although he truly entitle himself Pierce 
Penny less, and be elsewhere styled the Gentleman Ragganiuffin . 
NASH the ape of Greene, Greene the ape of Ettphues, Euphues 
the ape of Envy, the three famous mammets of the press, and my 
three notorious feudists, draw all in a yoke : but some scholars 
excel their masters ; and some lusty blood will do more at a deadly 
pull than two or three of his yoke-fellows. It must go hard, but 
he will emprove himself the incomparable darling of immortal va- 
nity. Howbeit, his friends could have wished he had not shewn 
himself to the world such a ridiculous Sujfenus, or Shakerly to him- 
self, by advancing the triumphal garland upon his own head, before 
the least skirmish for the victory ; which if he ever obtain, by any 
valiancy or bravery, (as he weeneth himself the valiantest and 
bravest actor that ever managed pen,) I am his bondsman in fetters, 
and refuse not the humblest vassalage to the sole of his boot. 

Much may be done by close confederacy, in all sorts of cozenage 
and legerdemain : Monsieur Pontalais, in French, or Messer Unico, 
in Italian, never devised such a nipping comedy, as might be made 
in English, of some leaguers in the quaint practics of the Crossbiting 
art : but I have seen many bearwards and butchers in my time ; 
and have heard of the one what belongeth to apes, and have learned 
of the other not to be afraid of a dozen horned beasts ; albeit, some 



one of them should seem as dreadful as the furious dun cow of 
Dunsmoor-heath, the terriblest foeman of Sir Guy. ^Esop's ox, 
though he be a sure ploughman, is but a slow workman ; and 
Greene's ape, though he be a nimble juggler, is no sure executioner. 
Yet well worth the Master-Ape, and Captain-mammet, that had a 
hatchet as well as Pap ; a country cuff, as well as a fig ; a crabtree 
cudgel, as well as a nut ; something of a man's face, with more of 
an ape's face. Had his pen been muzzled at the first, as his mouth 
hath been bunged since, these fresh Euphuists would never have 
adventured upon the whip or the bob : but Silence is a slave in a 
chain, and Patience the common pack-horse of the world. 

Even this brat of an ape's-clog, that can but mowgh with his 
mouth, gnash with his teeth, quaver with his ten bones, and bran- 
dish his goose-quill, presuming of my former sufferance, layeth 
about him, with the same quill, as if it were possessed with the 
spirit of Orlando Furioso, or would teach the club of Gargantua to 
speak English. For the flail of Ajax distraught, or the club of 
Hercules enraged, were but hedgestakes of the old world, and un- 
worthy the naming in an age of puissance emproved horribly. 

The newest legends of most hideous exploits may learn a new 
art to kill-cow men with peremptory terms, and bugs-words of cer- 
tain death. Poor I must needs be plagued ; plagued ? nay, brayed 
and squeezed to nothing, that am matched with such a Gargantuist 
as can devour me quick in a sallad ; and thundereth more direful 
threatenings against me, that only touched him, than huge Poly- 
phemus roared against Ulysses, that blinded him; or banning 
Virgil reared against Arius, that spoiled him. Genus irritabile Vatum. 
The generation of raving poets is a swarm of gad-bees ; and the 
anger of a moody rhymester, the fury of a wasp. A mad tiger, not 
like a mad wasp ; and a chafed wild-boar, not comparable to a 
chafed gad-bee. Take heed of the man, whom nature hath marked 


with a gag-tooth, art furnished with a gag-tongue, and exercise 
armed with a gag-pen ; as cruel and murderous weapons as ever 
drew blood. The best is, who hath time hath life. He meaneth 
not to come upon me with a cowardly stratagem of Scarborough 
warning : he useth a certain gallant Homerical figure, called Hy- 
steron protcron, or the cart before the horse ; and, with a resolution, 
menaceth the effect before the causes be begotten. When the iron 
cart is made, and the fiery horses foaled, they shall bring the mighty 
battering-ram of terms, and the great ordinance of miracles to town : 
ask not then how he will plague me. In the mean season, it is a 
wonder to see how courageously he taketh on with his hostess's 
needles, and his brother's bodkins. Indeed, a good soldier will 
make a shrewd shift with any weapons ; but it is a marvellous heart, 
that threateneth ruin, ruin, ruin, with the dint of a bodkin, and the 
blade of an awl. Were such another Rodomont so furious, so va- 
lorous, so redoubtable ? There is a piece of a good old song, per- 
adventure as ancient as the noble legend of Sir Bevis, or Sir 
Launcelot du Lake : 

Dubba-dmbba-d*b, kill kirn milk a dub: 
Amd he rill not die; till kirn scitk ajiy. 

He that made that rhyme in jest, little considered what a gad- 
fly may do in earnest. It is small wisdom, to continue the smallest 
enemy : the gad-fly is a little creature, but some little creatures be 
stingers : never faulchion better managed than some tidy penknives : 
and what will he do, when he rusheth upon me with the tempestuous 
engines of his own wit, that keepeth such a horrible coil with his 
school-fellow's poinado ? An ape is never to seek of a good face, to 
set upon the matter. Blessed Euphues. thou only happy, that hast 
a train of such good countenances, in thy flourishing green-motley 
livery ! miserable I, the unhappiest on earth, that am left desolate ! 
Ah! but that, might be endured : every man is not born to be the 


leader of a band : every bird carrieth not Argus' eyes displayed in 
her tail : Fame is not every body's saint : to be forsaken is no great 
matter ; to be utterly undone, is miserable. That, and the unmer- 
cifullest persecution that may be invented, is cruelly proclaimed 
against quiet him, that was once thronged and pestered with fol- 
lowers : but when he began to give over that green haunt, and betook 
himself to a riper profession ; Diomedes' companions were changed 
into birds. Times alter ; and as Fortune hath more sectaries than 
Virtue, so pleasure hath more adherents than profit. 

I had no sooner shaken off my young troop, whom I could not 
associate as before, but they were festivally re-entertained by some 
nimble wights, that could take the advantage of opportunity (with 
good visages, you may be sure,) and had purposely lain in wait to 
climb in print, by the fall of their seniors ; like ambitious planets, 
that enhance their own dignities by the combustion or retrogradation 
of their fellow-planets. Much good may that advancement do them ; 
and many dainty webs may I see of those fine spiders : but, although 
I doat upon curious workmanship, yet I love not artificial poison ; 
and am almost angry with the trimmest spinners when they extort 
venom out of flowers, and will needs defile their friends' libraries 
with those encroaching cobwebs. Iwis it were purer Euphuism, to 
win honey out of the thistle ; to sweeten aloe with sugar ; to perfume 
the stinking sagapenum with musk, and to mitigate the heat of eu- 
phorbium with the juice of the lily. Tush, you are a silly humanitian 
of the old world. That was the simplicity of the age, that loved 
friendship more than gold, and esteemed every thing fine that was 
neat and wholesome. All was pure, that was seasoned with a little 
salt ; and all trim that was besprinkled with a few flowers. Now 
the fiercest gunpowder, and the rankest pike-sauce, are the bravest 
figures of rhetoric in esse ; and he the only man at the scrivener's 
pistol, that will so incessantly haunt the Civilian and Divine, that, to 


avoid the hot chase of his fiery quill, they shall be constrained to en- 
sconce themselves in an old urinal case. Give me such a Bonifacius. 
Now well worth some terms of aqua-fortis at a pinch ; and wel- 
come urinal case ; a fit sconce for such valiant terms, and a meet 
bulwark against that fiery quill. 1 have already felt his pulse, and 
cannot well cast his water without an urinal, either old or new: 
but an old urinal will not so handsomely serve the turn : it would be 
as new as the Cap-case of Strange News : but a pure mirror of an 
impure stale ; neither gross, the clearer to represent a gross sub- 
stance; nor green, the livelier to express some green colours and 
other wanton accidents ; nor any way a harlot, the trulier to discover 
the state of a harlotry. I have seen as hot an agent made a tame 
patient, and glad to ensconce the dregs of his shame in an old urinal. 
It is a blab, but not every man's blab, that casteth a sheep's eye 
out of a calf's head ; but a blab with judgment; but a blab that can 
make excrements blush, and teach Chaucer to retell a Canterbury 
Tale. But such great judicials require some little study ; and St. 
Fame is disposed to make it holiday. She hath already put on her 
wispen garland over her pouting cross-cloth ; and behold with what 
an imperial majesty she cometh, riding in the ducking-chariot of her 

I was never so sick of the milt, but I could laugh at him that 
would seem a merry man, and cannot for his life keep in the breath 
of a furnish fool. Fie ! long Meg of Westminster would have been 
ashamed to have disgraced her Sunday bonnet with her Saturday 
wit. She knew some rules of decorum ; and, although she were a 
lusty bouncing romp, somewhat like Gallemella, or maid Marian, 
yet was she not such a roinish-rannel, or such a dissolute gallian- 
flurtes, as this wainscot-faced Tomboy, that will needs be Danter's 
Maulkin, and the only hag of the press. I was not wont to endite 
in this stile : but, for terming his fellow Greene, as he was noto- 
riously known, the scrivener of Crossbiters, the founder of ugly 


oaths, the green master of the black art, the mocker of the simple 
world, et ccetera, see how the daggle-tailed rampalion bustleth for 
the frank- tenement of the dunghill. 

I confess I never knew my invective principles or confuting terms 
before ; and perhaps some better scholars are nigh-hand as far to seek 
in the kind rudiments and proper phrases of pure NASHERY. Why, 
thou errant butter-zvhore, (quoth he, or rather she,) thou cotquean and 
sera t tap of scolds, wilt thou never leave afflicting a dead carcase ; conti- 
nually read the rhetoric lecture of Ram alley ? A wisp, a wisp, a wisp ; 
rip, rip, you kitchen-stuff wrangler! Holla, sir, sweeter words would 
do no harm. Doubtless these emphatical terms of the alley were 
laid asteep for some other acquaintance, not for me : (good fellows 
must be furnished with oratory meet for their company:) but it is 
some men's evil luck to stumble in the way when Will Summers' 
weapon is ready drawn ; and yet. more possible for him to stay the 
swing of his eager hand, than for Maulkin to stay the dint of her 
moody tongue, that can teach the storm-wind to scold English, and 
pleadeth natural possession of cucking-stool. It is good policy to 
yield to the fury of the tempest : (die resolutest hearts are fain to 
yield to the imperious jurisdiction of storms and shrews:) and the 
stamping fiend, in the hot-house of her foaming oratory, will have 
the last word. 

Sweet gossip, disquiet not your lovely self: the dunghill is 
your freehold, and the cucking-stool your copyhold. I know none 
so rank minded to enter upon your proper possessions by riot : and 
in case thou wilt needs also be the schoolmistress of Ram-alley, 
certainly thou desirest but thy right; that canst read a rhetoric, or 
logic lecture to Hecuba in the art of raving, and instruct Tisiphone 
herself in her own gnashing language. Other he or she drabs, of 
the curstest or vengeablest ranks, are but dipped or died in the art: 
not such a beldam in the whole kingdom of frogs, as thy croking 
and most clamorous self. Even Martin's unbridled style, and Pap- 


hatchet's reasty eloquence, is but a curtailed aid to thy long-tailed 
colt. Let the clock strike : I have lost more hours, and lose no- 
thing if I find equity. 

Should the Butter-whore bestir herself like an errant knis;ht, 

O f 

and try all the conclusions of her churn, she might, peradventure, 
in some sort pay thee home with school-butter : but undoubtedly 
she should have much ado to stop thy oven-mouth with a lid of 
butter, at a piece of a breakfast, or else there be lies ; and art such a 
witch for a churn or a cheese-press, as is not to be found in the Mallet 
of witches, or in Monsieur Bodine's Dajmonomania. Three meals 
of a Lazarello make the fourth a Woolner ; and it is a craven frying- 
pan, that is afraid of a butter-whore. No, no, the butter-whore 
is thy bond-maid in a bunch of keys : and take heed, sirrah, the 
cheese-knave be not her bond-man in a load of logs. She cometh 
not of the blood of the threateners : but kitchen-stuff and a coal- 
rake have in times past been of some familiar acquaintance ; and 
it is a bad pair of tongs, that cannot make as good sport at a pinch, 
as a pair of bellows. Though a dish of buttered pease be no great 
warrior, yet a mess of buttered artichokes may, perhaps, hold you 
some pretty tack. Only I bar those same whoreson unlawful 
terms, steeped in cisterns of aqua-fortis and gunpowder ; and have 
at you a gentle crash, when it shall please the urinal and the dairy 
to give me leave to play with a butterfly. I do you the uttermost 
credit in the world, that am ever glad to seek dilatory excuses, and to 
crave a term, ad ddiberandum. The fortune of the field, with pike 
or pen, is like the luck of Navigation, or the hap of marriage : and 
I love not greatly to chop upon many chances. 

Nothing venture, nothing lose; none of the Avorst rules or 
cautels for their security, that can tell stories of Hap-hazard, and 
have known some gallants more hardy than wise. Humanity is 
desirous of peace with the best, and of truce with the worst : and, 
truly, I never longed to fight it out with flat strokes, until I must 


needlessly needs ; but if there be no remedy by treaty or amicable 
composition, although I was ever a slow-worm in the morning, yet 
I cannot abide to go to bed with a dromedary. I cannot marvel 
enough, how the nimble bee should be engendered of the sluggish 
ox, or the lively wasp of the dead horse ; but Nature is a miraculous 
and omnipotent workman ; and I find it true by experience, that I 
must learn to imitate by example, or prejudice myself by favouring 
other. To prejudice, were a small matter, where the party levelleth 
at no great matter ; but when a man's credit is assaulted with bug's 
words, and his wit beleaguered with the ever-playing shot of the 
press, wisdom must pardon him whom folly assaileth, and humanity 
dispense with a necessary apology. 

I would I might make it a policy to make my adversary much, 
and much, and much better than he is; that I might rencounter him 
with the more reputation, or the less disparagement; but it is his 
glory to shame himself notoriously ; and he will needs proclaim his 
own vanities in a thousand sentences, and whole volumes of ribaldry, 
not to be read but upon a muck-hill, or in the priviest privy of the 
Bordello. Let his vices sleep on a down pillow; would J could 
awaken his virtues, and stop their mouths, that wish me in sober 
earnest, not to foil my hands upon such a contemptible rascal ; but 
to let the reckless villain play with his own shadow (Truth is my 
witness, divers honest men of good reckoning, and sundry worship- 
ful gentlemen, have advised me in those very terms expressly) : but 
since I can do him no good by persuasion, it were folly to suffer 
him to do me harm by detraction. You that are not ascertained 
of the lewd and vile disposition of the man, imagine as favourably 
of him as charity can possibly conceive of an impudent railer, and 
a profane mouth; but you that can skill of learning, and love 
scholarship, give him his desert; do equity right, and him no wrong, 
that wrongeth whom he listeth. They that have leisure to cast 
away (who hath not some idle hours to lose?) may peruse his gew- 


gaws with indifferency, and find no art but Euphuism ; no wit, but 
Tarletonism ; no honesty, but pure Scogginism ; no religion, but 
precise Marlowism ; no consideration, but mere Nashery : in brief, 
no substance, but light feathers ; no accidents, but lighter colours ; 
no transcendents, but lightest phantasies, that fly above the highest 
regions of the clouds, and purpose to have a saying to the man in 
the moon. His mountains of imagination are too apparent, his 
designments of vanity too visible, his plots of ribaldry too palpable, 
his forms of libelling too outrageous : S. Fame, the goddess of his 
devotion ; S. Blase, the idol of his zeal ; S. Awdry, the lady of his 
love; and the young vicar of old S. Fool's, his ghostly father. 

I have heard of many notable proud fools ; read of many egre- 
gious aspiring fools; seen many haughty vain-glorious fools; won- 
dered at many busy, tumultuous fools ; but never saw such a famous, 
arrogant, conceited fool, the very transcendent fool of the Ship, that 
hugely contemneth all the world but his own flim-flams ; and against 
all policy maketh his adversary more than an ass, and less than 
nothing ; whose victory otherwise might, peradventure, have seemed 
something. But to overcrow an ass is a sorry conquest, and a 
miserable trophy for so doughty a squire. There were ways enough 
of answering or confuting, with variety and reason, to his own 
credit, the satisfaction of other, and my contentment, although he 
had not desperately and scurrilously broken out into the foulest 
and filthiest scurf of odious terms, that villany could invent, or im- 
pudency utter. Iwis he mought have spied a difference between 
staring and stark blind, between raging and stark mad, between 
confuting and rank railing in the grossest sort. Had he seasoned 
his style with the least spice of discretion, or tempered his un- 
measurable licentiousness with any moderation in the world, or had 
he not most arrantly laboured to shew himself the very brazen fore- 
head of Impudency, and the iron mouth of Malediction, without all 
respect, he might easily have found me the calmest and tractablest 


adversary, that ever he provoked ; as reasonable for him as for my- 
self, in causes of equity ; and as partial to foe as to friend, in con- 
troversies of truth. But it is the top-gallant of his bravest bravure 
to be a creator of Asses, a confuter of Asses, and a conqueror of 
Asses : Asses are born to bear, and birds to soar aloft. No wings, 
to the wings of self-conceit; nor any sails, to the sails of words ; but 
haggard wings are sometimes clipped, and hoised sails oftentimes 
humbled. Words amount, like castles of vapours, or pillars of 
smoke, that make a mighty shew in the air, and straight vanish 
away. Howbeit, Envy is a soaking register, and Spite a remem- 
brancer of trust. That would be written in a glass of wine, is 
otherwise found in tables of marble, and indentures of wainscot. 

The ostrich can devour the rust of iron, and the gall of present 
obloquy may be brucked ; but the note-book of malice is a monu- 
ment of touchstone, and the memorial of feud the claw of an ada- 
mant. Pride swelleth in the pen of arrogancy, vanity bubbleth 
in the mouth of folly, rancour boileth in the heart of vengeance, 
mischief hammereth in the head of villany, and no such art memo- 
rative as a crab-tree desk. But, in contempt of pride, I will speak 
one proud word : vain Nash, whom all posterity shall call vain 
Nash, were thou the wisest man in England, thou wouldst not, or 
were thou the valiantest man in England, thou durst not have 
written, as thou hast desperately written, according to thy green 
wit ; but thou art the boldest bayard in print ; a hair-brained fool in 
thy head, a vile swad in thy heart, a foul liar in thy throat, and a 
vain-glorious Ass in thy pen ; as I will prove upon the carcase of 
thy wit and courage, throughout all the predicaments of proof. 
I hate malice in myself, but love not to be an upholsterer of stuffed 
and bombasted malice in other. And because thou termest me an 
old Fencer, (indeed I was once Tom Burley's scholar), and needest 
disciplining as much as any rake-hell in England, wheresoever I 
meet thee next, after my first knowledge of thy person (not for mine 


own revenge, but for thy correction), I will make thee a simple fool, 
and a double swad, as well with my hand, as with my tongue ; and 
will engrave such an epitaph, with such a Kyrieeleson upon my scull, 
as shall make thee remembered, when Sir Gawin's scull shall be for- 
gotten. Some bibber of Helicon will deem it worth eternal record. 
And if thou entreat me not the fairer (hope of amendment prevent- 
eth many ruins), trust me, I will batter thy carrion to dirt, whence 
thou earnest ; and squeeze thy brain to snivel, whereof it was 
curdled; nay, before I leave powdering thee, I will make thee 
swear thy father was a rope-maker, and proclaim thyself the basest 
drudge of the press ; with such a strange confutation of thy own 
Strange News, as shall bring Sir Vain-glory on his knees, and make 
Master Impudency blush like a virgin. 

Thy wit already maketh buttons ; but I must have S. Fame dis- 
claim her black Sanctus, and Nash's devout Supplication to God, to for- 
give Pierce' s reprobate Supplication to the Devil. It must be roundly 
done, or I will, with a charm for a full stomach, make the gorge of 
thy belching rhetoric, and the paunch of thy surfeiting poetry, fling 
figures upward and downward. Fie, what need that be spoken? 
True; there is choice enough of sweeter flowers ; and neat Oratory en- 
tertaineth neatest civility ; (what relish so pleasant as the breath of 
Suada ; or what smell so aromatical as the voice of the Muses ?) 
but the mouth of a rude Ass can taste no other lettice, and the 
spawn of a beastly dog-fish will understand no other language but 
his own. Fury must be tamed with Fury, according to Homer, that 
teacheth the God of the field to strike home ; obstinacy awed 
with obstinacy, force mastered with force, threatenings cooled with 
threatenings, contempt answered in his own tongue ; and seeing the 
wild colt is so unreasonably lusty, I mean percase either to make 
his courage crouch forward, or his Art winch backward. I have 
twenty and twenty charms for the breaking of stubborn jades, for 
the biting of mad dogs, for the stinging of scorpions, for the darting 
of urchins, for the haunting of sprites, for the storming of tempests, 


for the blasting of lightning, for the rattling of thunder, and so 
forth ; even for the cracking of an hundred Pap-hatchets, or a thou- 
sand Greenes, or ten thousand Nas/i's Peagooses. And in case all 
happen to fail (for it must be a mighty exorcism that can conjure 
down spight), I have a probatum est of a rare and powerable virtue, 
that will hold the nose of his or his conceit to the grindstone, and 
make gentle villainy confess all the shreds and rags of his slashingest 
terms are worn to the stumps. 

The desperate fool may claw back himself a while ; but it is 
possible he may soon find by sound experience, he brayeth open 
war against him that can bray the Ass-drum in a mortar, and stamp 
his Jew's trump to pin-dust. Tom Drum, reconcile thyself with a 
counter supplication ; or surely it is fatally done, and thy S. Fame 
utterly undone, world without end. As savoury a saint, by the 
verdict of that excellent gentlewoman, as the cleanly disbursing of 
the dirt-purse of Sir Gargantua, that made King Charlemagne and 
his worthy chivalry laugh so mightily, that their heads ached eight 
days after : a meet idol for such a beadman. 

I have digressed from my purpose, and wandered out of my 
accustomed way ; but when the butter-milk goeth on pilgrimage, 
you must give the butter-whore leave to play the arrant knight a 
crash, and to make it ganging week for once. Ganging week ? nay, 
a ganging day, I trow, is a large allowance, and enough to betire a 
poor straggling wench, for all her brags. Never sorry lass so piti- 
fully aweary of her ragged petticoat, and daggled tail, that tattered 
livery of the confuting gentleman. Let it go; and the wisp go with 
it. I honour the meekest humility, but scorn the insolentest arro- 
gancy under my foot, and say to the highest imagination of vanity, 
Thou art a proud fop. When thou earnest thy wit loftiest, and 
prankest up thy self-love in his gaudiest colours, thou art but an 
Ass's head, and a peacock's tail. Love other, and thou mayest be 
loved of other for pure charity ; hate other, and thou art one of the 


most odious pads in the world : a Turk, for M. Ascham's archers 
to shoot at, and a Jew's eye for Christian needles. Now a little 
breathing pause will do no harm. 

Were not Malice as wilful in maintaining abuse as rash in offering 
the same, and Arrogancy as obstinate in the conclusion as violent 
in the premises, I readily could, and willingly would undertake a 
more temperate and pleasing course ; but the fairest offer is foully 
contemned, the gentlest suit unkindly repulsed. Say I what I can, 
Malice will be itself; or do I what I can, Arrogancy will be itself; 
and no other impression can sink into the heart of Spite, or the ear 
of Pride, but instigations of Spite, or suggestions of Pride. Other 
motives are mere simplicities ; and every treaty of pacification, or 
parley of reconciliation, the shaking of an aspen leaf. The devil's 
orator is an herald of war, not a legate of peace ; and his dam's poet 
the rankest challenger at short or long, that ever sent defiance in 
white or black. To refuse the trial would, in the common opinion, 
seem a shame ; to accept the offer, in the best judgments, is a shame; 
to take the foil were a discredit, to give the foil is no credit. A hard 
case, where patience may be supposed simple, and avengement will 
be reputed unwise ; where I cannot hold my peace without war upon 
war, nor speak without blame upon blame ; where I must either be 
a passive, or an active Ass in print. 

I stand not upon the point of honour, or upon terms of reputa- 
tion ; but as it is a glory for the inferior to offer the combat, like 
the champion of Prowess, or the duellist of Courage, so I would the 
superior might refuse that without prejudice, which he cannot 
undertake without disparagement, or perform without obloquy. 
To spoil Pierce Penniless were a poor booty ; and to make Thomas 
Nash kiss the rod (by her favour that hath pleasurably made him 
a Sultan Tomumboius, and another Almannus Hercules, the great 
captain of the boys), were as sorry a victory ; but only in the Bella 
Euboico, or in her main battle of scolds. Yet seeing he provoketh 


me so malapertly hand to hand, and seeing the infancy of his fancy 
will no otherwise be weaned from his crank conceit, better such a 
victory with some inconvenience (for I hope I may without arro- 
gancy presume of the victory,) than continual disturbance with 
more and more mischief. Hector never raged amongst the Grecians, 
nor Achilles amongst the Trojans, as Meridarpax, the most furious 
and thrice redoubted captain of the mice, rushed upon the woeful 
frogs in that heroical battle. But Meridarpax himself, in his im- 
petuous and massacrous sallies, never made such a havock of the 
miserable frogs, as this swash Pen would make of all English writers, 
howsoever garnished with eloquence, or stored with matter, might 
he be suffered to hew them down like stocks, or shrubs, without con- 
trolment. He will soon be ripe, that already giveth so lusty onsets, 
and threateneth such desperate main careers as surpass the fiercest 
cavalcades of Bellerophon, or Don Alonso d'Avalos. Nothing cur- 
taileth the courage of his bravery, or daunteth the swelling chivalry 
in his nostrils, but that excellent learning is not esteemed as it de- 
serveth, or singular men advanced according to the merits of their 

Might Penniless, singular Penniless, be the preferrer of his own 
virtue, or judge of his own cause (as he courageously contendeth), 
I believe a velvet coat were scantly good enough for his wearing, 
that now remaineth most humbly, and thrice affectionately, bounden 
to the right honourable printing-house, for his poor shifts of apparel, 
and his rich cap of maintenance. An Anatomy of the mind and 
fortune were respectively as behoveful and necessary as an anatomy 
of the body ; but this captain confuter (like gallant Lobbellinus in 
a new livery) neither knoweth himself nor other; but presumeth he 
knoweth all things with an overplus of somewhat more, in knowing 
his railing grammar, his raving poetry, his roisting rhetoric, and his 
chopping logic ; with whose help he hath thwitled the millpost of 
his huge and omnipotent conceit, to a pudding prick of Strange 


News. Strange News indeed, that Pierce Penniless should create 
more Asses in an hour, than the brave King of France (now the 
mightiest warrior in Christendom, and a great advancer of valour) 
hath dubbed knights in his reign. The ironies of Socrates, Aristo- 
phanes, Epicharmus, Lucian, are but Carterly derisions; the ironies 
of Tully, Quin tilian, Petrarch, Pontane, Sanazarius, King Alphonsus, 
but the sorry Jests of the Council-table Ass, Richard Clark ; the 
ironies of Erasmus in his Praise of Folly, of Agrippa in his Dispraise 
of Sciences, of Cardan in his Apology of Nero, like Isocrates' Com- 
mendation of Busiris, or Lucian's defence of Phalaris the tyrant ; 
but good bear, bite not; the ironies of Sir Thomas More in his Uto- 
pia, Poems, Letters, and other Writings ; or of any their imitators at 
occasion, but the girds of every milk-maid. They were silly country 
fellows that commended the bald pate, the fever quartain, the fly, 
the flea, the gnat, the sparrow, the wren, the goose, the ass; flattery, 
hypocrisy, cozenage, bawdry, lechery, buggery, madness itself. 

What Dunse, or Sorbonist, cannot maintain a paradox ? what 
peasant cannot say to a glorious soldier, pulchre mehercule dictum t 
etsapienter; or, Laute, lepide, nihil supra ; or, Regem elegantem nar- 
ras; or, a man is a man, though he have but a hose upon his head ; 
or so forth. No such light payment, Gabriel, at Pierce Penniless ; or 
Thomas Nash's hand. They are rare and dainty wits, that can 
roundly call a man Ass at every third word ; and make not nice to 
befool him in good sullen earnest, that can strangle the soundest 
breath of their pens, and meaneth to borrow a sight of their giddiest 
brains, for a perfect anatomy of Vanity and Folly. Though strong 
drink fumeth, and aquafortis fretteth, yet I will not exchange my 
milk-maid's irony for his draft-maid's assery. It is not the first 
time that I have disputed de umbra Asini; and proved the fox, the 
finder, as wily a pigeon, as the cunning goldsmith, that accused his 
neighbour, and condemned himself. A melancholy body is not the 
kindest nurse for a chearly mind (the jovial complexion is sove- 


reignly beholding to nature) ; but I know not a finer transformation 
in Ovid than the metamorphosis of dudgen earnest into sport ; of 
harsh sour into sweet ; of loss into gain ; of reproach into credit; of 
whatsoever bad occurrence into some good. I was never so splene- 
tic, when I was most dumpish, but I could smile at a frise jest, when 
the good man would be pleasurable ; and laugh at fustian earnest, 
when the merry man would be surly. Strange News will be as 
pleasant as a cricket, by cat's pangs; and where such a turlery-ginks 
of conceit, or such a gibbihorse of pastime, as Strange News? But 
fillip him, or twitch him never so little, and not such a pouting wasp 
in Ram Alley, or such a wincing jade in Smithfield. Then Ass t 
and worse than a Cumane Ass, and fool, and dolt, and idiot, arid Dunse, 
and Dorbel, and dodipole, and Gibaltar, and Gamaliel Hobgoblin, and 
Gilgilis Hobe.rdehoy, and all the rusty-dusty jests in a country, are 
too little for his great Confutation, that is lineally descended ab 
Equis ad Asinos, and taken on, like Hob-all-as, a stout king of the 

When I am better grammared in the Accidents of his proper 
idiotism, and grown into some more acquaintance with his Confut- 
ing dictionary, I may peradventure construe and pierce the whole 
alphabet of his sweet eloquence a little better, and make some far- 
ther trial of M. Ascham's double translation, a pretty exercise in a 
fit subject. Meanwhile I am glad to see him swim up to the beard- 
less chin in a sea of honey and ypocras, that so lately was plunged 
in a gulf of other liquor, and parlously dashed upon the horrible 
rock of desperation. It is good, they say, to be merry and wise. 

Poggius was merry, and Panormitan wise ; Marot was merry, 
and Bellay wise ; Scoggin was merry, and the Lord Cromwell wise ; 
Greene was merry, and Sir Christopher Hatton wise; Nash is merry, 
and there be enough wise, though his mother's son be Pierce Pen- 
niless. Or, if thou beest wise, or wouldst seem no fool, beware of 
casualties and a new Attractive. Thy tongue is a mighty loadstone 


of Asses, and must do as much for thine own natural cares, as the 
Magnes doth for iron. As good do it at first as at last ; and better 
voluntary confession with favour, than enforced profession with 
more shameful penance. Balaam's Ass was Avise, that would not 
run upon the angel's sword ; Msop's Ass no fool, that was glad to 
fawn upon his master like a dog ; Lucians Ass, albeit he could not 
fly like the witch, his hostess, (whose miracles he thought to imi- 
tate, had not her gentle maid cosened him with a wrong box), yet 
could he politicly save himself, please, or ease his masters, delight 
his mistresses, shew many artificial feats, amaze the beholders, drink 
the purest wine in Thessalonica, and finally eat roses as well as 
thistles ; Apnlius Ass was a pregnant Lucianist, a cunning ape, a 
loving worm, and (what worthier praise?) a golden Ass ; Machiavel's 
Ass, of the same metal, and a deep politician, like his founder, 
could provide for One, better than the sparrow or the lily ; Agrippa's 
Ass, a wonderful compound, and (may I say?) a divine beast, knew 
all things like Solomon, and bore all burdens like Atlas. The great 
library of king Ptolemy in Egypt, reported to have been replenished 
with seventy thousand volumes, not such a library of books, or such 
an university of arts and sciences, as Agrippa's Ass. They that 
reverence the wonderous prophecies of the Cumane Sibyl, Amal- 
thea, the chiefest of the ten inspired Sibyls, defend or favour the 
excellent qualities of the Cumane Ass; esteemed by Varro the most 
profitable servant of that country, and by Columella the most ne- 
cessary instrument of all countries. Every Ass is naturally a well- 
disposed creature, and (as the learned Rabbins have written) a 
mirror of clemency, patience, abstinence, labour, constancy, and 
divine wisdom. No such schoolmaster for a wild boy, or a rash fool, 
as the sober and stayed Ass ; the countryman of the wise Apollo, 
and the seven wise masters. 

Venerat et senior pando Silenus asello. 

Silenus, the tender foster-father, and sage tutor of the wanton and 



frolic Bacchus, afterward how brave and fruitful ! What an Oriental 
worthy ! What an Indian conqueror ! What a festival god ! When 
Priapus, the shameless god of the garden, (so gentility called that 
lecherous devil), attempted to surprise Vesta sleeping, what an ho- 
nourable piece of service performed the honest Ass, that with his 
loud braying detected that villanous assault ? What heathen me- 
morial more shameful to that infamous God, than the solemn sacrifice 
of that famous beast, celebrated by the Lampsacens, in revengement 
and reproach of that treasonable enterprise? But what treason, 
like the treason of that politic Achitophel, and plausible Absolon, 
that most disloyally and desperately rebelled against the sacred 
majesty of the most valorous and incomparable worthy king, David ? 
And what reward or advancement meeter for such treason, than 
hanging? And who carried the wise Achitophel to hanging, but his 
own foolish Ass? And who carried the desperate Absolon to hanging, 
but his own sober Mule ? What should I surcharge your memory 
with more histories at once ? He that remembereth the government 
of Balaam's Ass, ./Esop's Ass, Lucian's Ass, Apuleius' Ass, Machia- 
vel's Ass, Agrippa's Ass, the Cumane Ass, the Rabbin's Ass, Apollo's 
Ass, the Seven Sages' Ass, Silenus' Ass, Priapus' Ass, Achitophel's 
Ass, and Absolon's Mule, little needeth any other tutor, or coun- 
sellor. Some would presume to allege the singular and peerless 
example of the Christian poet. 

llle viam ostendit, rili qua vectus asello 
Rerum Opifex. 

Agrippa, Cardan, Trithemius, Erasmus, and divers other nota- 
ble scholars, affecting to shew the variety of their reading, and the 
omnisufficiency of their learning, have been bolder in quoting such 
reverend examples, upon as light or lighter occasion ; but humanity 
must not be too saucy with divinity ; and enough is better than a 
feast. Sweet Apuleius, when thou hast wiped thy mouth with thine 
own Ass's dung, and thine own tongue hath said unto thy pen, 


Pen, thou art an Ass ; then fellow-asses may shake hands, and they 
clap their hands that have heard the comedy of Adelphi, or the two 
Asses ; a more notable pageant than the interlude of the two Sosias, 
or the two Amphitryos, or the two Menaechmi, or the two Martin 
Guerras ; or any such famous pair of the true person and the coun- 
terfeit. But Asses carry mysteries ; and what a riddle is this ? that 
the true man should be the counterfeit, and the false fellow the true 
Ass. Or what a secret in philosophy shall I reveal, as unto the 
sons of the art, when I tell you, Ass's milk is restorative, good for 
the gout, for the bloody flux, for the clearness of the skin ; Ass's 
blood good for the fever lurdane ; Ass's flesh sodden, good for the 
leprosy ; Ass's liver roasted, good for the falling sickness ; Ass's 
hoofs burnt to ashes, good also for the same sickness, for the king's 
evil, for women labouring with a dead burden ; Ass's bones well 
boiled, good against the empoisonment of the sea-hare ; Ass's tail, 
good for the reins of the back, and a fine decorative to beautify the 
face, by taking off spots and blemishes ; Ass's dung, a sweet nose- 
gay to staunch blood, a sovereign fumigation to expel a dead birth 
out of the mother's womb, and a fair emplaster for a foul mouth, 
as it might be for the mouth of bawdry in rhyme, or of blasphemy 
in prose. 

No Homerical, Machaon, or Podalirius, comparable to the 
right Ass ; that teacheth the greatest empirics, Spagyrics, Caba- 
lists, Alchymists, Magicians, and occult Philosophers, to wrap up 
their profoundest and unrevealable mysteries in the thickest skin, 
or rather in the closest entrails of an Ass. I would some open- 
mouthed libertines, and professed atheists, had as deeply learned 
that cunning lesson. Even the dead carcase of the Ass engender- 
eth the flying scarabe, or soaring beetle, the noble and unrecon- 
cileable feudist of the eagle ; of whom my brave adversary, the 
famousest dor-beetle of this age, hath learned to contemn and de- 
prave the two mounting eagles of the heavenly art of poetry, Bu- 
chanan in Latin verse, and Bartas in French metre. Whose gross 


imperfections he hath also vowed to publish : with an irrefragable 
confutation of Beza, and our flourishingest New writers, as well in 
divinity as in humanity ; only divine Aretine excepted. But no 
thunder-blazing affrighteth or toucheth the right eagle ; and the 
least feather of the right eagle can soon devour the bastard wings 
of other envious and quarrelous birds. What carrion Ass was the 
sire of this unappeasable Scarabe, or what Scarabe shall be the 
son and heir of this carrion Ass, I leave it wholly to the discourse 
of the learned Eagles, that were ever molested with the buzzing 
fly, and shall ever be haunted with the braying beast. I must spin 
up my task. And because the wild Ass wanted a picker-devant, 
let him drink his own urine, tempered with spikenard, as he carous- 
eth Helicon ; and, according to the tradition of Vitalis de Furno, 
it will procure and increase hair, as kindly as the artificial lineament 
of Doctor Levinus Lemnius, for a comely beard. And in case he 
feareth his fellow Greenes sluttish disease, let him read the natural 
histories of the Ass and the sheep in Aristotle, Pliny, or Gesner ; 
and he shall find it one of their special privileges to be exempted 
from the arrest of the six-footed serjeant, a continual haunter of 
other hairy beasts, and only favourable to the good Ass and the 
gentle Sheep. Or if haply he would be shod with a pair of ever- 
lasting shoes, like the talaria of Mercury, (for alas ! that any gentle- 
man of worth, or corrector of the Lord du Bartas, should lie in the 
compter in his boots for want of shoes), Albertus and Cardan will 
teach him to make incorruptible shoes of the durablest part of an 
Ass's hide, immortal leather. 

And oh ! sweet Muses of Parnassus, are not the sweetest pipes 
and pleasantest instruments made of Ass's bones ? Or do not the 
skilful geographers, Strabo and Pliny, call dainty Arcadia, in Pe- 
loponnesus, (the native country of the great Apollo), the land of 
Asses? Was not the renowned Pan, the politic captain of the con- 
querous Bacchus, and a supposed god in the Painim world, an 
Arcadian Ass ? Was not prince Areas, the brave son of king Ju- 


piter, after his death honoured with the glorious memorial of the 
Great Bear in heaven, an Arcadian Ass? Was not the Little Bear, 
his mother Calisto, an Arcadian Ass ? Was not her father, the dread 
tyrant Lycaon, an Arcadian Fox, an Arcadian Wolf, an Arcadian 
Ass? Was not the mighty Atlas, the father of Maia, and the 
grandfather of Mercury, an Arcadian Ass ? Was not Mercury him- 
self, the most nimble and super-eloquent god, an Arcadian Ass? 
Was not Astrophel, excellent Astrophel, (another Mercury at all 
dexterities, and how delicious a planet of heavenly harmony), by his 
own adoption an Arcadian Ass ? Histories are no snudges in mat- 
ters of note ; and Asses had never less cause to be ashamed of 

When wise Apollo, when valorous Pan, when employable Mer-> 
cury, when surmounting Atlas, when the great and little Bear of 
heaven, when excellent Astrophel, glory in the honourable title of 
Arcadian Asses, who would not covet to be recounted in that me- 
morable catalogue ? What generous or noble antiquity may wage 
comparison with Statius' Arcadians? 

^atfis, Lunaque priores. 

Sweetness itself was the daughter and darling of Arcadia; and 
Arcadia the mother, the nurse, the dug, the sweetheart of Sweetness 
itself. O the sugarcandy of the delicate bagpipe there ; and oh, the 
liquorice of the divine dulcimers there. No marvel though his 
music be sweeter and sweeter, that is as fine an Asinus ad lyram, as 
the famous disciple of the worthy Ammonius ; and hath Greene's mel- 
lifluous Arcadia at his fingers' ends, the very funeral of the Countess 
of Pembroke's Arcadia. His other habiliments and compliments be 
innumerable ; and I know not an Ass but hath some good quality, 
that is, some special property of an Ass, either profitable for com- 
modity, or pleasurable for delight, as an Ass may be profitable or 
pleasurable, either simply or in some respect. It was not for no- 
thing that the bravest king that ever reigned upon earth, Alexander 


the Great, even greater than any Mars or Jupiter that ever bran- 
dished sceptre in the world, in his royal and valorous judgment 
preferred the Ass before the man ; Avhen being solemnly commanded 
by oracle to slay the first living creature he should fortune to meet 
withal, if after his puissant and conquerous manner he would that 
day obtain the victory, he happened to meet a good honest country- 
man riding upon an Ass ; whose present sacrifice, as a most accept- 
able oblation, made him victorious. Less marvel of the Archbishop's 
answer, in Mensa Philosophica, and Pontan's Dialogues, that having 
reverently and devoutly preached on Palm Sunday, of the She-Ass, 
whereupon Christ in humility vouchsafed to ride; and after his 
lowly sermon, mounting upon his lofty palfrey, was riding his way, 
somewhat fatherly and graciously stayed awhile to hear the old 
woman's suit, that came hastily running towards him, and boldly 
taking his horse by the bridle, " Now, I beseech your Grace," quoth 
she, " is this the She-Ass whereupon Christ in humility rode?" " No, 
mother," quoth he, " but a poor foal of that rich Ass, and I a 
humble servant of that high Lord." " Good enough," quoth the 
woman, " I knew not before that the gentle She-Ass your grace 
preached of, had such goodly foals." " Yes, mother," quoth the 
bishop, " and a great deal goodlier than mine." And so departed, 
leaving behind him an everlasting memory of that devout sermon, 
and that weighty communication with the woman, in honour of the 
Ass, a fruitful parent of many goodly and pompous foals. I will 
not trouble Boccace or Poggius for tales. He was a natural fool 
that would have given his livery again unto his lord, because it was 
embroidered with Asses' heads, which made a comely shew upon his 
garment, and might full well have beseemed some rich coats. 

Could the mill, the plough, the pack, the hamper, the pannier, 
the cloak-bag, the burden, the fardel, the bag and baggage, the 
cudgel, the goad, penury, famine, patience, labour itself speak, all 
other apologies were superfluous : they would frame a substantial 


and necessary defence of the Ass ; and experience would declaim 
in commendation of his perpetual exercise, travel, industry, valour, 
temperance, sufferance, magnanimity, and constancy, the honoura- 
blest and invinciblest virtues in the world. 

The wisest economy maketh especial account of three singular 
members ; a merchant's ear, a pig's mouth, and an Ass's back. A 
short note, but worth all Tusser's, or Cato's husbandry. Had I 
more experience in some cases, I could say more ; and as my ex- 
perience in those cases may happen to increase or amount, I will 
not fail to tender my devoir. 

I have penned large discourses in praise of study, meditation, 
conference, exercise, industry, vigilancy, and perseverance, the 
worthiest things in the circuit of the earth, (nothing under heaven 
equivalent to labour) ; and whatsoever I have addressed in their 
behalf, I may in sort allege in honour of the Ass ; and compile 
whole volumes in his commendation, more available for commodity, 
and more necessary for use, than the works of some great com- 
menters in humanity, philosophy, history, and other high profes- 
sions. He that can kindly play the right Ass, in ignorance will 
find knowledge, in poverty wealth, in displeasure favour, in jeopardy 
security, in bondage freedom, in war peace, in misery felicity. Who 
so thoroughly provided for both fortunes as he ? Or who so strongly 
armed against all casualties as he? Or what Seneca, Epictetus, 
Boetius, Petrarch, or Cardan, so effectually a schoolmaster of Sus- 
tine, et Abstine, as he? Or who such an economer to live as he? 
Or who such a philosopher to die as he ? Or what physician for the 
body like him? Or what lawyer for the substance like him? Or 
what divine for the mind like him ? Or where such a practitioner 
of virtue as he ? Or where such a fortune-wright as he ? Or, finally, 
where such an apt subject for the civil and moral reformation of 
the prudent Augustus, the good Trajan, the gentle Marcus Antoni- 
nus, the virtuous Alexander Severus, the dread Septimius Severus, 


or any honourable prince, or politic tyrant, that with a reverend 
authority would establish virtuous and awful orders of government 
in his dominions ? 

But what an Ass am I, that proceed so coldly, and dully in the 
apology of so worthy a creature? What will you say, gentlemen, if 
I can prove with pregnant arguments, artificially drawn from all 
the places of invention, according to Ramus, Rodolph's, or Aris- 
totle's logic, that the fire-breathing Oxen, and mighty Dragon, which 
kept the most famous Golden Fleece, the glorious prize of brave 
Jason, were asses of Colchos : that the watchful and dreadful dra- 
gon which kept the goodly apples in the occidental islands of the 
ocean, called Hesperides, one of the renowned prizes of doughty 
Hercules, was a West-Indian ass : that the golden-horned and 
brazen-footed Menalian hart, the fierce Erymanthean boar, the hi- 
deous birds Stymphalides, the puissant Nemaean lion, and the 
seven-headed Lernrean hydra, which Hercules slew, were asses of 
Arcadia, and other adjacent countries of Morea : (for Maenalus and 
Erymanthus were hills in Arcadia, Stymphalus a lake in Arcadia, 
Nemaea a wood in Argolis, and Lerna a fen in Argolis, another 
shire of Morea) : that the serpent with the golden crest, which 
kept the rich fountain of Mars, in Greece, and was slain of valiant 
Cadmus, was an ass of Boetia, so called abov e, where the prophet 
Amphiaraus breathed oracles : that the huge serpent, Python de 
monte, engendered shortly after Deucalion's deluge, which the 
Arcadian God of Wisdom killed with his arrows, the first founders 
of the Pythian Games, was a mighty ass of the mountains : that 
the mounting eagle, into which king Jupiter turned not himself but 
Ganymedes, whom he took with him as his flying page, and used 
as his standing cup-bearer, was a faithful servant and a perpetual 
Ass : that the hundred-eyed Argus, whom queen Juno appointed 
.the keeper of lo, the fairest creature of the Arcadian herd, and 
whom Mercury lullabied asleep with a sweet Syrinx, or Arcadian 


pipe, (many stratagems and mysteries in that Arcadian pipe) was a 
blind ass of Arcadia. I skip a thousand memorable histories, that 
all they, by whatsoever noble or glorious names intitled, that, having 
charge of greatest importance and inestimable value committed 
to their vigilant and jealous custody, did at once forego their trea- 
sure, their honour, and their life (as many great personages for 
want of circumspection have done) were notorious arch-asses. If I 
cannot substantially prove all this, and, for a need, evict by neces- 
sary and immediate demonstration, that the- great world is a great 
ass, as well actu as potentia, and the microcosm a little ass, as well 
habitu as affectione ; say I am a notable ass, as well re as nomine. 
The philosopher, that seeking about with a candle at high noon, 
could not find a man in a populous market, without a candle would 
soon have pointed at a fair of asses, and could quickly have dis- 
covered a fruitful generation in every element ; in the water, on the 
earth, about the fire, in the air. And the wise man that said, with- 
out exception, Stultorum plena sunt omnia, might easily have been 
entreated to have set it down for a sovereign maxim, or general 
rule, Asinorum plena sunt omnia. 

The thundering orator, Demosthenes, was not afraid to taunt 
Minerva, the armed goddess of fine Athens, for exhibiting favour to 
three unreasonable beasts, the owl, the dragon, and the people; 
counting the people the most importunate and intolerable beast of 
the three, by whose appointment he was banished the dainty city, 
the only seat of his reigning eloquence. If the people of fine Athens 
were such a barbarous and senseless brute as their excellentest ora- 
tors, philosophers, captains, counsellors, and magistrates found to 
their cost, and if the people of brave Rome, the lady and empress 
of the world, were such a bellowing beast of many heads, as Horace 
called it, Tully proved it, Scipio felt it, and Caesar himself rued it, 
what may be said of other people ? Flourishing Greece in many 
hundred years acknowledged but seven wise men of special note; as 



the ancient world acknowledged but seven miracles, or magnifical 
spectacles, worth the seeing ; and Callimachus, a sweet poet, record- 
ing the memorable and wonderful things of Peloponnesus, termed 
them paradoxes. Virtuous Italy, in a longer term of dominion, with 
much ado bred two Catos and one Regulus : but how many Sylvios, 
Porcios, Brutos, Bestias, Tauros, Vitellios, Capras, Capellas, Asinios, 
and so forth ? Other singularities, meet matter for Tully's paradoxes. 
The world was never given to singularities ; and no such monster 
as excellency. He that speaketh as other use to speak, avoideth 
trouble ; and he that doth as most men do, shall be least wondered 
at. The ox and the Ass are good felloAvs : the libbard and the fox 
quaint wizzards : whatsoever above the common capacity, or usual 
ability, a paradox. I will not bethink myself of the rigorous sen- 
tences of Stoical philosophers, or the biting aphothegs of seditious 
malcontents, or the angry sayings of froward Saturnists, or the tu- 
multuous proverbs of mutinous people : (I have small affection to the 
reasons that are drawn from affection :) but, were not the world an 
universal Ox, and man a general Ass, how were it possible that so 
many counterfeit slights, crafty conveyances, subtle sophistications, 
wily cozenages, cunning impostures, and deep hypocrisies should 
overflow all : so many opinions, paradoxes, sects, schisms, heresies, 
apostasies, idolatries, atheisms should pester the church : so many 
frauds, shifts, collusions, covins, falsifications, subornations, trea- 
cheries, treasons, factions, commotions, rebellions, should disturb 
the commonwealth? 

It is a world to consider what a world of follies and villanies 
possesseth the world, only because the world is a world, id est an 
Ass. And would the press suffer this scribbling Ass to domineer 
in print, if it were not a press, id est an Ass ? Might it please his 
confuting Asship, by his favourable permission, to suffer one to rest 
quiet, he might, with my good leave, be the grand general of Asses, 
or reign alone in his proper dominion, like the mighty Assyrian king, 


even Phul-Assur himself, the famous son of the renowned Phul- 
Bullochus; for so the gentlewoman hath intitled him, in a place or 
two that have vowed the canonization of Nash's S. Fame, in cer- 
tain discourses of regard, already dispatched to my satisfaction, and 
almost accomplished to her own intention. It may, perad venture, 
be his fortune to leave as glorious a nephew behind him as ever 
was the renowned Lob-assar-duck, another noble king of Assyria, 
not forgotten by the said excellent gentlewoman, but remembered 
with, such a grace as beautifieth divine wits. Kind-heart hath 
already offered fair for it : and, were it not that the great Phul- 
Assur himself had forestalled arid engrossed all the commodities of 
Assyria, with the whole encomium of Asses, into one hand, it should 
have gone very hard, but this redoubted Lob-assar-duck would 
have retailed and regrated some precious part of the said commo- 
dities and advancements. He may, haply, in time, by especial 
favour and approved desert, (what means of preferment to espe- 
cial favour and approved desert ?) be entertained as a chapman of 
choice, or employed as a factor of trust, and have some stables of 
Asses at his appointment, as may seem meetest for his carriages 
and conveyances. For mine own part, I must be contented to re* 
main at his devotion that hath the whole generation of Assyrians at 
commandment, with a certain personal privilege, or rather an im- 
perial prerogative, to create and instal Asses at pleasure. 

Had I not lately re-visited the Assyrian history with the said 
virtuous gentlewoman, one of the gallantest ornaments of her sex, 
I mought, perchance, have omitted the small parcel of his great 
honour, and left the commendation of the Ass more unperfect; which, 
notwithstanding, I must still leave most unperfect, in respect of his 
unspeakable bean-desert. Unto whom, for a farewell, I can wish no 
more than accomplished honour, nor no less than athletical health. 
A short exhortation Avill serve Socrates to continue like himself. 
A roach not sounder than a haddock, or the stock-fish that Pliny 
termed Asellus : and nothing so unkindly hurteth an Ass, as the 


two melancholy beasts, cold and the drowsy sickness; the cause 
why Asses cannot abide to inhabit the most cold and frozen terri- 
tories of Scythia, but are glad to seek their fortunes in other 
countries, and to colonize in warmer seats. Blame him not, that 
saith, the weather is cold, and I am weary with confuting; and in 
another place, had I my health, now I had leisure to be merry ; for 
1 have almost washed my hands of the Doctor. Now I see thou art 
a good fellow by thine own confession, and wilt not give the Ass's 
head for the washing. Cold, and the drowsy sickness, are thy two 
mortal enemies : when they are fled the country, the fugitive and 
dismal birds, let us have a flitch of mirth with a fiddle of the purest 
Ass bone ; only I bar the cheek-bone, for fear of Sampson's tune, 
more than heroical. But the spring-tooth in the jaw will do us no 
harm, although it were a fountain of Muscadel or a conduit of 
Ypocrase. Many are the miracles of right Virtue ; and he entereth 
an infinite labyrinth, that goeth about to praise Hercules or the Ass : 
whose labours exceed the labours of Hercules, and whose glory 
surmounteth the top of Olympus. I were best to end before I 
begin, and to leave the author of Asses, where I found the Ass of 
authors. When I am better furnished with competent provision, 
(what provision sufficient for so mighty a province?) I may haply 
essay to fulfil the proverb by washing the Ass's head, and setting 
the crown of highest praise upon the crown of young Apuleius, the 
heir-apparent of the old Ass, the most glorious old Ass. 

I have written in all sorts of humours privately, I am persuaded, 
more than any young man of my age in England. They be the words 
of his own honourable mouth : and the golden Ass, in the super- 
abundance of his rich humours, promiseth many other golden 
mountains, but hath never a scrat of silver. Had Aristophanes' 
Plutus been outwardly as liberal, as Greene's Mercury was inwardly 
prodigal, he must needs have been the only oriental star of this Ian-, 
guage ; and all other writers, old or new, in prose or verse, in one 
humour or other, but sorry occidental stars. Only external defects, 


quoth himself, are cast in his dish : for internal graces, and excel- 
lentest perfections of an accomplished mind, who but he ? 

Come divine poets and sweet orators, the silver streaming foun- 
tains offlowingestwit,and shiningestart; come Chaucer and Spenser, 
More and Cheek, Ascham and Astely, Sidney and Dyer ; come the 
dearest sister of the dearest brother, the sweetest daughter of the 
sweetest Muses, only one excepted, the brightest diamond of the 
richest eloquence, only one excepted ; the resplendentest mirror of 
feminine valour, only one excepted ; the Gentlewoman of Courtesy, 
the Lady of Virtue, the Countess of Excellency, and the Madam 
of immortal Honour : come all the daintiest dainties of this tongue, 
and do homage to your Vertical Star that hath all the sovereign 
influences of the eloquent and learned constellations at a beck, 
and paradiseth the earth with the ambrosial dews of his incompre- 
hensible wit. 

But what should I dally with honey-bees, or presume upon 
the patience of the gentlest spirits that English humanity affordeth? 
Pardon me, excellent minds, and I will here dismiss my poor milk- 
maid, nothing appliant to the delicate humour of this minion 
humorist, and courtesan secretary. Shall I say, Fie upon arrant 
knavery, that hath never sucked his fill of most odious malice ? or 
Out upon scurrilous and obscene villainy, nursled in the bosom of 
filthiest filth, and hugged in the arms of the abominablest hags of 
Hell ? Be it nothing to have railed upon doctors of the university, 
or upon lords of the court, (whom he abuseth most infamously, and 
abjecteth as contemptuously as me) : but what other desperate 
varlet of the world durst so villainously have defamed London and 
the court, as he notoriously hath done in these rascal terms ? Tell 
me, is there any place so lewd as this Lady London ? not a wench 
sooner creeps out of the shell, but she is of the religion. The court I 
dare not touch, but surely there may be many falling stars, and but one 
true Diana. Not a wench, a very universal proposition, in so large 

174 :.. I 

and honourable a city; and but one, a very short exception to 
a general rule of the court. Flourishing London, the staple of 
wealth, and madam-town of the realm, is there no place so lewd as 
thyself? and Noble Court, the palace of honour and seat of majesty, 
hast thou but one true Diana? Is it not nigh hand time the 
young haddock were caught, that can already nibble so prettily ? 
Was he, think you, lodged in Cappadocia, for sleeping by the sun, 
and studying by the moon ? Whom or what will not she shortly 
confute with an overrunning fury, that so bravely adventureth 
upon London, and the court all at once? Honour, regard thy good 
reputation, and staunch the rank blood of this arrant author; as 
honest a man as some honest woman I could name, that keepeth 
her honesty as she doth her Friday fast. Suffer him to proceed as 
he presumeth, and to end as he beginneth; and look for a rarer 
beast in England than a wolf, and a stranger monster in print than 
the divine ruffian, that intitled himself Flagellum Principum, and 
proved pestis Rerumpublicarum. My tongue is an infant in his 
idiotism ; and I had rather bless my pestilentest enemy than curse 
any : but some little plain dealing doth not otherwhiles amiss, 
where nothing but flat and rank grossness blotteth the paper, in- 
fecteth the air, depraveth the good, encourageth the bad, corrupteth 
youth, accloyeth age, and annoy eth the world. 

Good faith is my witness, I neither affect to obscure any light 
in an adversary, nor desire to quench any honest courage in an 
enemy ; but wish every gift of heaven or earth, of mind or body, of 
nature or fortune, redoubled in both, even in the greenest adversary 
and wildest enemy ; in whom I honour the highest, and love the 
lowest degree of excellency ; but am not easily cozened by imper- 
fection, branded with the counterfeit mark' of perfection. I am 
over ready to pardon young oversights, and forgive inconsiderate 
offences ; but cannot flatter folly, or fawn upon vanity, or cocker 
ignorance, or sooth up untruth, or applaud to arrogancy, either in 


foe or friend. It concerneth every man to look into his own estate 
with his own eyes : but the young man, that will neither know 
himself, nor acknowledge other, must be told in brief what the com- 
mon opinion reporteth at large. He hath little wit, less learning, 
least judgment; no discretion, vanity enough, stomach at will, 
superabundance of self-conceit; outward liking to few, inward 
affection to none ; (his defence of GREENE a more biting condemna- 
tion than my reproof) ; no reverence to his patrons, no respect 
to his superiors, no regard to any, but in contemptuous or censo- 
rious sort, hatred or disdain to the rest; continual quarrels with 
one or other, (not such another mutterer or murmurer, even against 
his familiarest acquaintance) ; an ever grudging and repining mind, 
a ravenous throat, a gluttonous maw, a drunken head, a blas- 
phemous tongue, a fisking wit, a shittle nature, a revolting and 
runagate disposition, a broking and huckstering pen, store of rascal 
phrases, some little of a brabling scholar ; more of a raving scold, 
most of a roisterly serving-man, nothing of a gentleman, less than 
nothing of a fine or cleanly artist. And as for terms of honesty of 
civility (without which the sharpest invention is unsavoury, and the 
daintiest elocution loathsome,) they are gibridge unto him, and he 
a Jewish rabbin, or a Latin dunce with him, that useth any such 
form of monstrous terms. 

Aretine, and the Devil's orator, would be ashamed to be con- 
victed or indicted of the least respective or ceremonious phrase, 
but in mockage or cozenage. They neither fear Goodman Satan, 
nor Master Belzebub, nor Sir Reverence, nor My Lord Govern^ 
ment himself. O wretched Atheism ! Hell but a scare-crow, and 
Heaven but a wonder-clout in their doctrine : all vulgar, stale, and 
simple, that is not a note above Gods-forbid. Whom durst not 
he appeach, revile, or blaspheme, that forged the abominable book 
in the world, De tribus impostoribus mundi ? and whom will he for- 
bear, in any reason or conscience, that hath often protested in his 


familiar haunts to confute the worthy Lord Du Bartas, and all 
the famousest modern writers, saving him only who only meriteth 
to be confuted with unquenchable volumes of Heaven and Hell- 
fire? Perionius decyphereth the foul precepts and reprobate ex- 
amples of his moral philosophy, in an invective declamation, 
generally addressed unto all the princes of Christendom, but espe- 
cially directed unto the most Christian French king, Henry the 
Second. Agrippa detesteth his monstrous veneries, and execrable 
sodomies. Cardan blazoneth him the most impudent ribald that 
ever took pen in hand. Manutius investeth him the ringleader of 
the corruptest bawds and miscreantest rake-hells in Italy. His 
familiar acquaintance, Sansovino, doth him never a whit more credit 
than needeth. Tasso disdaineth his insolent and insupportable 
affectation of singularity. Jovius, in his Elogies, vouchsafeth him 
not the naming. Doubtless he was indued with an exceeding odd 
wit ; and I never read a more surpassing-hyperbolical style. Cas- 
tilio's Courtier, after a pleasurable sort, grace th him with a deep 
insight in the highest types and ideas of human perfections, where- 
unto he most curiously and insatiably aspired. His wanton dis- 
ciples, or vain conceited favourites (such crows, such eggs) in their 
fantastical letters, and Bacchanal sonnets, extol him monstrously, 
that is, absurdly ; as the only monarch of wit, that is, the prodigal 
son of conceit; and the mortal God of all virtue, that is, the im- 
mortal Devil of all vice. 

Oh, what grandiloquous epithets, and super-eminent titles of 
incredible and prodigious excellency, have they bestowed upon the 
arch-miracle of the world, Signior Unico ! not so little as the huge 
Gargantua of prose, and more than the heaven-surmounting Babel 
of rhyme. But what approved man of learning, wisdom, or judg- 
ment ever deigned him any honour of importance, or commendation 
of note, but the young darling of S. Fame, THOMAS NASH, alias 
Pierce Penniless, the second Leviathan of prose, and another Behe- 


moth of rhyme ? He it is that is born to glorify Aretine, to disgrace 
Bartas, and to undo me. Say I, write I, or do I what I can, he 
will haunt and trounce me perpetually with spritish works of Su- 
pererogation, incessant tormentors of the civilian and divine. Yet 
somebody was not wont to indite upon aspen leaves of paper ; and 
take heed, sirrah, of the fatal quill, that scorneth the sting of the 
busy bee, or the scratch of the kittish shrew. A bee ? a drone, a 
dorse, a dor-beetle, a dormouse. A shrew ? a drab, a hag, a flib- 
ber-gibbet, a make-bait, the pick-thank of vanity, the pick-pocket 
of foolery, the pick-purse of all the palteries and knaveries in print. 
She doth him no wrong that doth him right, like Astrea, and hath 
styled him with an immortal pen the baw-waw of scholars, the tutt 
of gentlemen, the tee-heegh of gentlewomen, thejie of citizens, the 
blurt of courtiers, the poogh of good letters, the faph of good man- 
ners, and the whoop-hoo of good boys in London streets. 

Nash, Nash, Nash, (quoth a lover of truth and honesty) vain 
Nash, railing Nash, cracking Nash, bibbing Nash, baggage Nash, 
swaddish Nash, roguish Nash, Nash the bell-wether of the scribbling 
flock, the swish-swash of the press, the bum of impudency, the 
shambles of beastliness, the pole-cat of Paul's Church-yard, the 
screech-owl of London, the toad-stool of the realm, the scorning- 
stock of the world, and the horrible confuter of Four Letters. Such 
an antagonist hath fortune allotted me, to purge melancholy and to 
thrust me upon the stage ; which I must now load, like the old sub- 
ject of my new praise. There is no warring with destiny ; and the 
lord of my leisure will have it so. Much good may it do the puppy 
of S. Fame so to confute, and so to be confuted. Where his intelli- 
gence faileth (as God wotteth it faileth often) he will be so bold, 
without more inquiry, to check the common sense of reason with the 
proper sense of his imagination, infinitely more high in conceit than 
deep in understanding ; and where any phrase or word presurneth to 
approach within his swing, that was not before enrolled in the com- 
mon-places of his paper book, it is presently mere inkhoruism ; 

A A 


albeit he might have heard the same from a thousand mouths of 
judgment, or read it in more than an hundred writings of estima- 
tion. Pythagoras' silence was wont to be a rule of ignorance or 
immaturity (no better bit for unlearned or unexpert youth, than 
Pythagoras' silence) ; but understand, or not understand, both are 
one ; if he understand, it is duncery ; if he understand not, it is 
either cabalism in matter, or inkhornism in form ; whether he be 
ripe or unripe, all is raw or rotten that pleaseth not his imperial 
taste. Had he ever studied any Pragmatical Discourse, or perused 
any treaties of confederacy, of peace, of truce, of intercourse, of 
other foreign negociations (that is specially noted for one of my ink- 
horn words) ; or researched any acts and monuments, civil or eccle- 
siastical ; or looked into any laws, statutes, injunctions, proclama- 
tions (nay, it is one of his witty flouts, He begins like a proclama- 
tion: but few treatises better penned than some proclamations); or 
had he seen any authentical instruments, pragmatic articles, or 
other politic tracts, he would rather have wondered I should use so 
few formal terms (which I purposely avoided, as not so vulgarly 
familiar), than have marvelled at any which I used. 

He is of no reading in comparison, that doth not acknowledge 
every term in those letters to be authentical English, and allow a 
thousand other ordinary pragmatical terms more strange than the 
strangest in those letters, yet current at occasion. The ignorant 
ideot (for so I will prove him in very truth) confuteth the artificial 
words which he never read ; but the vain fellow (for so he proveth 
himself in word and deed), in a fantastical emulation presumeth to 
forge a mishapen rabblement of absurd and ridiculous words, the 
proper bodges of his new-fangled figure, called Foolrisme : such as 
inkhornism, Absonism, the most copious Carminist, thy Carminical art, a 
Providitore of young scholars, a Corrigidore of incongruity, a guest of 
Cavalieros, Inamoratos on their rvorks, a Theological Gimpanado, a Dro- 
midote Ergonist, sacrilegiously contaminated, decrepit capacity, fiction- 
ate person, humour unconversable, merriments unexilable, the horrison- 


ant pipe of inveterate antiquity; and a number of such inkhornish 
phrases, as it were a pan of outlandish collops, the very bowels of 
his profoundest scholarism. For his eloquence passeth my intelli- 
gence, that clepeth himself a Calimunco, for pleading his com- 
panion's cause in his own apology; and me a Pistlepragmos, for 
defending my friends in my Letters ; and very artificially interfuseth 
finicality, sillogistrie, disputative right, hermaphrodite phrases, decla- 
matory stiles, censorial moralizers, unlineal usurpers of judgment, in- 
famizers of vice, new infringement to destitute the indictment, deriding 
dunstically, banging abominationly t unhandsoming of divinityship, 
absurdifying of phrases, ratifying of truthable and eligible English, Ji 
calm dilatement of forward harmfulness, and backward irefulness, and 
how many sundry dishes of such dainty fritters? rare junkets, and 
a delicate service for him that compiled the most delicious com- 
mentaries, De optimitate triparum. And what say you boys, the 
flatteringest hope of your mothers, to a porch of panim pilfries, pes- 
tred with praises? Dare the pertest, or deftest of you hunt the 
letter, or hawk a metaphor, with such a Tite-tute-tate? He weeneth 
himself a special penman, as he were the headman of the pamphlet- 
ing crew, next and immediately after Greene ; and although he be a 
harsh orator with his tongue (even the filed Suada of Isocrates 
wanted the voice of a Siren, or the sound of an echo), yet would he 
seem as fine a secretary with his pen, as ever was Bembus in Latin, 
or Machiavel in Italy, or Guevara in Spanish, or Amiot in French ; 
and with a confidence presseth into the route of that humorous 
rank, that affecteth the reputation of supreme singularity. 

But he must crave a little more acquaintance at the hand of 
art, and serve an apprenticehood of some nine or ten years in the 
shop of curious imitation (for his wild phantasy will not be allowed 
to maintain comparison with curious imitation), before he will be 
able to perform the twentieth, or fortieth part of that sufficiency, 
whereunto the crankness of his imagination already aspireth, as 


more exquisite than the Atticism of Isocrates, or more puissant 
than the fury of Tasso. 

But how insolently soever gross ignorance presumeth of itself 
(none so haughty as the .basest buzzard), or how desperately soever 
fool-hardy ambition advanceth his own colours (none so fool-hardy 
as the blindest Hob), I have seldom read a more garish and piebald 
style, in any scribbling inkhornist; or tasted a more unsavoury 
slaump-paump of words and sentences, in any sluttish pamphleteer, 
that denounceth not defiance against the rules of oratory, and the 
directions of the English Secretary, which may here and there 
stumble upon some tolerable sentence, neighbourly borrowed, or 
featly picked out of some fresh pamphlet; but shall never find 
three sentences together worth any allowance ; and as for a fine or 
neat period, in the dainty or pithy vein of Isocrates or Xenophon, 
marry, that were a perriwig of a Siren, or a wing of the very bird of 
Arabia, an inestimable relic. Tush a point; neither curious Her- 
mogenes, nor trim Isocrates, nor stately Demosthenes, are for his 
tooth ; nor painting Tully, nor carving Caesar, nor purple-dying 
Livy, for his humour. It is for Cheeke, or Ascham to stand level- 
ing of colons, or squaring of periods, by measure and number ; his 
pen is like a spigot, and the wine-press a dullard to his ink-press. 

There is a certain lively and frisking thing, of a queint and 
capricious nature, as peerless as nameless, and as admirable as 
singular, that scorneth to be a bookworm, or to imitate the excel- 
lentest artificial^ of the most renowned work-masters that antiquity 
affordeth. The wit of this and that odd modernist is their own ; 
and no such mineral of richest art as pregnant nature, the plenti- 
fullest womb of rare invention, and exquisite elocution. Whuist 
art; and nature advance thy precious self in thy most gorgeous 
and magnificent robes, and if thy new descant be so many notes 
above old Ela, Good-now be no niggard of thy sweet accents and 
heavenly harmony, but teach the antic Muses their right Leripup. 


Desolate eloquence, and forlorn poetry, thy most humble sup- 
plicants in forma pauperum, clad in mournful and dreary weeds, as 
becometh their lamentable case, lie prostrate at thy dainty foot, 
and adore the idol excellency of thy monstrous singularity. O 
stately Homer, and lofty Pindarus ! whose wit mounteth like Pega- 
sus, whose verse streameth like Nilus, whose invention flameth like 
Etna, whose elocution rageth like Sirius, whose passion blustereth 
like Boreas, whose reason breatheth like Zephyrus, whose nature 
savoureth like Tempe, and whose art perfunieth like Paradise ! O ! 
the mightiest spirits of courageous vigour, of whom the delicate 
Grecian, worthy Roman, and gallant vulgar Muses, learned their 
shrillest tunes, and hyperbolical notes ! O the fiercest trumpets of 
heroical valour, that with the strange sympathy of your divine fury, 
and with those same piercing motions of heavenly inspiration, were 
wont to ravish the affections, and even to melt the bowels of bravest 
minds ! see, see what a wonderous quaime 

But peace, milkmaid, you will be shaming yourself and your 
bringing up. Hadst thou learned to discern the fairest face of elo- 
quence from the foulest visage of barbarism, or the goodliest frame 
of method from the ill-favouredest shape of confusion, as thou canst 
descry the finest flour from the coarsest bran, or the sweetest cream 
from the sourest whey, perad venture thou wouldst dcat indeed upon 
the beautiful and dainty feature of that natural style, that appropriate 
style, upon which himself is so deeply enamoured. I would it were 
out of perad venture; no man more greedy to behold that mira- 
culous art of improved nature. He may malapertly brag in the 
vain ostentation of his own natural conceit, and, if it please him, 
make a golden calf of his wooden stuff, but shew me any half page 
without pipery phrases, and tinkerly composition, and say I am the 
simplest artist that ever looked fair rhetoric or sweet poetry in the 

It is the destiny of our language to be pestered with a rabble- 
ment of botchers in print ; but what a shameful shame is it for him 


that maketh an idol of his own pen, and raiseth up an huge ex- 
pectation of paper miracles (as if Hermes Trismegist were newly 
risen from the dead, and personally mounted upon Danter's press), 
to emprove himself as rank a bungler in his mightiest work of 
Supererogation, as the starkest patch-pannel of them all, or the 
grossest hammer-drudge in a country. He disdaineth Thomas De- 
lone, Philip Stubs, Robert Armin, and the common pamphleteers 
of London, even the painfullest chroniclers too ; because they stand 
in his way, hinder his scribbling traffic, obscure his resplendishing 
fame, or have not chronicled him in their catalogues of the renowned 
modern authors, as he meritoriously meriteth, and may peradven- 
ture be remembered hereafter. But may not Thomas Delone, 
Philip Stubs, Robert Armin, and the rest of those misused persons, 
more disdainfully disdain him, because he is so much vainer, so 
little learneder, so nothing eleganter, than they ; and they so much 
honester, so little obscurer, so nothing contemptibler, than he? 
Surely, Thomas, it were policy to boast less with Thomas Delone, 
or to achieve more with Thomas More. 

If vaunting or cracking may make thee singular, thy art is 
incomparable, thy wit super-excellent, thy learning omni-sufficient, 
thy memory infinite, thy dexterity incomprehensible, thy force 
horrible, thy other gifts more than admirable : but when thou hast 
gloried thy uttermost, and struggled with might and main to seem 
the Great Turk of secretaries, if thy eyesight be any thing in the art 
of inditing (wherein it hath pleased favour to repute me something), 
upon my credit for ever, thou hast nothing in thee of valour but a 
railing gall, and a swelling bladder. For thy pen is as very a gentle- 
man foist as any pick-purse living; and that which is most miser- 
able, not a more famous neck-verse than thy choice; to thyself 
pernicious, to youth dangerous, to thy friends grievous, to thy 
adversaries pitiful, to virtue odious, to learning ignominious, to 
humanity noyous, to divinity intolerable, to authority punishable, 
to the world contemptible. 


I longed to see thy best amendment, or worst avengement; 
but thy gay best, ut supra, proveth nothing ; and thy main worst, 
ut infra, less than nothing. Never silly man's expectation so de- 
luded with contrary events upon the stage (yet fortune sometimes 
is a queint comedian, far beyond the Supposes of Ariosto), as these 
Strange News have coney-caught my conjecture, more deceived than 
my Prognostication of the last year, which happened to be a true 
prophet of some dismal contingents. Though I never fancied tau- 
tologies, yet I cannot repeat it enough : I looked for a treaty of 
pacification, or imagined thou wouldst arm thy quill like a stout 
champion, with the complete harness of wit and art ; nay, I feared 
the brazen shield, and the brazen boots of Goliath, and that same 
hideous spear, like a weaver's beam ; but it is only thy fell stomach 
that blustereth like a northern wind. Alas ! thy wit is as tame as 
a duck, thy art as fresh as sour ale in summer, thy brazen shield in 
thy forehead, thy brazen boots in thy heart, thy weaver's beam in 
thy tongue, a more terrible lance than the hideous spear, were the 
most of thy power equivalent to the least of thy spite. I say not: 
what aileth thy Gorgon's head ? or what is become of thy Sampson's 
locks? (yet, where miracles were promised, and achievements of 
Supererogation threatened, they had reason that dreaded unknown 
forces): but O blasts of divine fury, where is your supernatural 
prowess ? and O horn of abundance, what meaneth this dearth of 
plenty, this penury of superfluity, this infancy of eloquence, this 
simplicity of cunning, this stupidity of nimbleness, this obscurity 
of bravery, this nullity of omni-sufficiency ? 

Was Pegasus ever a cow in a cage, or Mercury a mouse in a 
cheese, or Industry a snail in a shell, or Dexterity a dog in a doublet, 
or Legerdemain a slow- worm, or Vivacity a lazy-bones, or Entelechy 
a slug-plum ? Can lively and winged spirits suppress the divinity 
of their etherial and seraphical nature ? Can the thunder tongue- 
tie, or the lightning smother, or the tempest calm, or love quench, 


or zeal lukewarm, or valour manacle, or excellency mew up, or per- 
fection geld, or Supererogation comb-cut itself? Is it not impossible 
for humanity to be a spittle man, rhetoric a duminerell, poetry a 
tumbler, history a bankrupt, philosophy a broker, wit a cripple, 
courage a jade ? How could the sweet mermaids, or dainty nymphs, 
find their tender hearts to be so far devoured from their queintest 
and galiardest minion? 

Art, take heed of an eager appetite, if a little greedy devouring 
of singularity will so soon get the hiccup, and make thee, as it 
were, belch the sloven's oratory, and, as a man Avould say, parbreak 
the slut's poetry. Pure singularity, wrong not thy arch-excellent 
self, but embrace him with both thy arms, that huggeth thee with 
his five wits, and cowl him with thy two coral bracelets, that buss- 
eth thee with his two ruby lips, and his three diamant powers, 
natural, animal, and vital. Precious singularity, how canst thou 
chuse but doat upon his alabaster neck, whose inventive part can 
be no less than a sky-coloured sapphire, like the heavenly devises of 
the delicious poetess Sappho, the godmother of the azure gem ; 
whose rhetorical figures, sanguine and resplendishing carbuncles, like 
the flamy pyrops of the glistering palace of the sun ; whose alluring 
persuasions, amethysts ; whose cutting girds, adamants ; whose 
conquering ergos, loadstones; whose whole conceit as green as the 
greenest jasper ; whose orient wit, the renowned Achates of King 
Pyrrhus, that is, the tabernacle or chancel of the Muses, Apollo 
sitting in the midst, and playing upon his ivory harp most enchant- 

Is it possible those powerful words of antiquity, whose mighty 
influence was wont to debase the miraculous operation of the most 
virtuous stones, herbs, and stars (philosophy knoweth the incredible 
force of stones, herbs, and stars), should be to seek, in a panting 
inspired breast, the closet of revealed mysteries, and garden of in- 
fused graces? What locks, or bars of iron, can hold that quick- 


silver mercury, whose nimble figure disdaineth the prison, and will 
display itself in his likeness, maugre whatsoever impeachment of 
iron Vulcan, or wooden Daedalus? I hoped to find that I lusted to 
see, the very singular subject of that invincible and omnipotent 
eloquence, that, in the worthiest age of the world, entitled heroical, 
put the most barbarous tyranny of men, and the most savage wild- 
ness of beasts, to silence, and arreared wonderful admiration in the 
heart-root of obstinatest rebellion, otherwise how untractable ? Had 
I not cause to platform new theoricks, and ideas of monstrous 
excellency, when the parturient mountain of miracles was to be 
delivered of his mighty burden of Supererogation ? Who would not 
ride post to behold the chariot of his triumph, that glorieth as if he 
had won both Indies from the Spaniard, or Constantinople from 
the Turk, or Babylon from the Sophi ? But, holla, brave gentle- 
men, and alack, sweet gentlewomen, that would so fain behold 
S. Fame in the pomp of her majesty ; never poor suckling hope so 
incredibly crossbitten with more than excessive defection. I looked, 
and looked for a shining sun of singularity, that should amaze the 
eyes, and astonish the hearts of the beholders, but never poor 
shimering sun of singularity so horribly eclipsed. I perceive one 
good honest acre of performance may be more worth than a whole 
land of promise. 

Take heed, aspiring minds, you that deem yourselves the 
paragon wits of the world, lest your hills of jollity be converted 
into dales of obscurity, and the pomp of your glory become like 
this pump of shame. Even when envy boiled his ink, malice 
scorched his pen, pride parched his paper, fury inflamed his heart : 
S. Fame raged, like S. George's dragon ; mark the conclusion : the 
weather was cold, his style frost-bitten, and his wit nipped in the 
head. Take away the flaunting and huffing braveries of his railing 
tropes, and cracking figures, and you see the whole galiard of his 
rhetoric, that flouteth the poor Philippics of Tully and Demosthenes, 

B B 


and mocketh him that chanced to name them once in Four Letters, 
as he used their word Entelechy (now a vulgar French and English 
word) once in four and twenty Sonnets. The wise priest could 
not tell whether Epiphany were a man saint, or a woman saint, or 
what the devil it was. Such an Epiphany, to this learned man, is 
Entelechy, the only quintessence of excellent and divine minds, as 
is above mentioned, shewing whence they came by their heavenly 
and perpetual motion. What other word could express that noble 
and vigorous motion quicker than quicksilver; and the lively spring, 
or rather the vestal fire of that ever-stirring virtue of Caesar, Nescia 
stare loco: a mystery, and a very chimera to this swad of swads, 
that beginneth like a bull-bear, goeth on like a bullock, endeth 
like a bullfinch, and hath never a sparkle of pure Entelechy. 

Gentlemen, now you know the good nature and handsome art 
of the man, if you happen upon a feather, or some morsel of your 
liking (it is a very sorry book that yieldeth nothing for your liking), 
thank the true author, of whose provision you have tasted, and say 
not but Thomas Nash hath read something, that, affecting to seem an 
university of sciences, and a royal exchange of tongues, would be 
thought to have devoured libraries, and to know all things, like 
larchas and Sysarion, nay, like Adam and Solomon, the arch- 
patrons of our new omniscians. If he did so in verity, it were the 
better for him, and not the worse for me; but you see his doing, 
and my suffering. Neither I nor my betters can please all ; nor 
he nor his punies will displease all ; but as in the best something 
remaineth that may be amended without derogation to their credit, 
so in the worst there may appear something worth the allowance, 
with no great commendation to their person. Were I disposed to 
discourse, as sometime I have been forward upon less occasion, for 
the only exercise of my style, and some practice of my reading, I 
could with a facility declare at large that may briefly be touched. 
Among so many notable works of divine wits, excepting the works 


of God's own finger, where is not any so absolutely excellent, wherein 
some blemish of imperfection may not be noted ; nor amongst so 
many contemptible pamphlets, any so simply base, but may yield 
some little fruit of adv.ertisement, or some few blossoms of discourse. 

In the sovereign workmanship of Nature herself, what garden 
of flowers without weeds ? What orchard of trees without worms ? 
What field of corn without cockle ? What pond of fishes without 
frogs? What sky of light without darkness? What mirror of know- 
ledge without ignorance ? What man of earth without frailty ? 
What commodity of the world without discommodity ? Oh ! what 
an honourable and wonderful creature were perfection, were there 
any such visible creature under heaven? But pure Excellency 
dwelleth only above ; and what mortal wisdom can acclear itself 
from error? or what heroical virtue can justify, I have no vice? 
The most precious things under the sun have their defaults ; and 
the vilest things upon earth want not their graces. Virgil could 
enrich himself with the rubbish of Ennius : to how many rusty- 
dusty names was brave Livy beholding? Tully, that was as fine 
as the Crusado, disdained not some furniture of his predecessors^ 
that were as coarse as canvas ; and he that will diligently seek, may 
assuredly find treasure in marl, corn in straw, gold in dross, pearls 
in shell-fishes, precious stones in the dunghill of Esop, rich jewels 
of learning and wisdom in some poor boxes. 

He that remembereth Humphrey Cole, a mathematical me- 
chanician; Matthew Baker, a ship-wright; John Shute, an architect; 
Robert Norman, a navigator; William Bourne, a gunner; John 
Hester, a chemist, or any like cunning and subtle empiric (Cole, 
Baker, Shute, Norman, Bourne, Hester, will be remembered when 
greater Clerks shall be forgotten), is a proud man if he contemn 
expert artizans, or any sensible industrious practitioner, howsoever 
unlectured in schools, or unlettered in books. Even the Lord Vulcan 
himself, the supposed god of the forge, and the thunder-smith of 


the great King Jupiter, took the repulse at the hands of the Lady 
Minerva, whom he would in ardent love have taken to wife. Yet 
what wit or policy honoureth not Vulcan ? and what profound 
mathematician, like Digges, Harriot, or Dee, esteemeth not the 
pregnant mechanician? Let every man in his degree enjoy his 
due ; and let the brave engineer, fine Daedalist, skilful Neptunist, 
marvellous Vulcanist, and every Mercurial occupationer, that is, 
every master of his craft, and every doctor of his mystery, be 
respected according to the uttermost extent of his public service, or 
private industry. 

I cannot stand to specify particularities. Our late Avriters are 
as they are; and albeit they will not suffer me to balance them 
with the honourable authors of the Romans, Grecians, and Hebrews, 
yet I will crave no pardon of the highest, to do the simplest no 
wrong. In Grafton, Holinshed, and Stowe; in Heywood, Tusser, 
and Gowge; in Gascoigne, Churchyard, and Floide; in Ritch, 
Whetstone, and Munday ; in Stanyhurst, Fraunce, and Watson ; 
in Kiffin, Warner, and Daniel ; in a hundred such vulgar writers, 
many things are commendable, divers things notable, some things 
excellent. Fraunce, Kiflfin, Warner, and Daniel, of whom I have 
elsewhere more especial occasion to entreat, may haply find a thank- 
ful remembrance of their laudable travails. For a polished and 
garnished style, few go beyond Cartwright; and the chiefest of his 
confuters, furnished writers. And how few may wage comparison 
with Reynolds, Stubbes, Mulcaster, Norton, Lambert, and the Lord 
Henry Howard? whose several writings the silver file of the work- 
man recommendeth to the plausible entertainment of the daintiest 
censure. Who can deny but the Resolution, and Mary Magdalen's 
Funeral Tears, are penned elegantly and pathetically ? Scott's Dis- 
covery of Witchcraft dismasketh sundry egregious impostures, and 
in certain principal chapters, and special passages, hitteth the nail 
on the head with a witness ; howsoever I could have wished he had 


either dealt somewhat more courteously with Monsieur Bocline, jor 
confuted him somewhat more effectually. 

Let me not forget the Apology of sundry Proceedings by Juris- 
diction Ecclesiastical, or the Answer to an Abstract of certain Acts 
of Parliament, Injunctions, Canons, Constitutions, and Synodals Pro- 
vincial ; unless I will skip two of the most material and most formal 
treatises that any English print hath lately yielded. Might I re- 
spectively presume to intimate my slender opinion, without flattery 
or other indecency, methought ever Doctor Whitgift (whom I name 
with honour) in his sermons was pithy; Doctor Hutton profound; 
Doctor Young piercing to the quick ; Doctor Chaderton copious ; 
M. Curtes elegant ; M. Wickam sententious ; M. Drant curious ; 
M. Deering sweet ; Doctor Still sound ; Doctor Underbill sharp ; 
Doctor Matthew fine; M. Lawherne gallant; M. Doove eloquent; 
M. Andrews learned ; M. Chaderton methodical ; M. Smith pa- 
thetical ; sundry other in their proper vein notable, some exquisite, 
a few singular. Yet which of the best hath all perfections ? (nihil 
omni ex parte beatum) or which of the meanest hath not some excel- 
lency ? I cannot read over all : I have seldom heard some : (it was 
never my hap to hear Doctor Cooper, Doctor Humfry, or Doctor 
Fletcher, but in Latin) : and I would be loath to injury or preju- 
dice any that deserveth well, viva voce, or by pen. 

I deem him wise that maketh choice of the best, avoideth the 
worst, reapeth fruit by both; despiseth nothing that is not to be 
abhorred ; accepteth of any thing that may be tolerated ; enter- 
taineth every thing with commendation, favour, contentment, or 
amendment. Lucian's Ass, Apuleius' Ass, Agrippa's Ass, Machia- 
veFs Ass, myself, since I was dubbed an Ass by the only monarch 
of Asses, have found savoury herbs amongst nettles, roses amongst 
prickles, berries amongst bushes, marrow amongst bones, grain 
amongst stubble ; a little corn amongst a great deal of chaff. The 
abjectest naturals have their specifical properties, and some won- 


drous virtues ; and philosophy will not flatter the noblest or worthiest 
naturals in their venoms or impurities. True alchymy can allege 
much for her extractions and quintessences ; and true physic more 
for her corrections and purgations. In the best I cannot commend 
the bad, and in the baddest I reject not the good, but precisely 
play the alchymist in seeking pure and sweet balms in the rankest 
poisons. A pithy or filed sentence is to be embraced, whosoever 
is the author; and for the least benefit received, a good mind will 
render dutiful thanks, even to his greatest enemy. Oh, humanity, 
my Lullius ! or oh, divinity, my Paracelsus ! how should a man 
become that piece of alchymy, that can turn the ratsbane of vil- 
lany into the balm of honesty, or correct the mandrake of scurrility 
with the myrrh of courtesy, or the saffron of temperance. 

Conceive a fountain- of contentation, as it were of oil, or a bath 
of delight, as it were of nectar ; and prefer that saffron or myrrh, 
that odoriferous saffron or aromatical myrrh, before this sovereign 
oil ; and that balm, that divine balm, before this heavenly nectar. 
No natural restorative like that saffron or myrrh, the very death of 
contention ; nor any artificial cordial like that balm, the very life 
of humanity, or should I rather say, the very life of life. 

We have many new methods and platforms, and some no doubt 
as exquisite as scrupulous ; but assuredly it were an excellent me- 
thod, and singular platform, to honour the wise and moderate the 
fool; to make much of the learned, and instruct the ignorant; to 
embrace the good, and reform the bad ; to wish harm to none, and 
do well to all ; and finally (for that is the scope of this and some 
other discourses) to commend the Fox and praise the Ass. Martin 
himself is not altogether a wasp ; nor Brown altogether a canker- 
worm ; nor Barrow altogether a scorpion ; nor haply Kett altogether 
a cockatrice. Take heed of the snake in the grass, or the pad in 
the straw, and fear no bugs. Be Martin a Martin Guerra, Brown 
a brown-bill, Barrow a wheelbarrow, Kett a kite, H. N. an O. K. 


If any sound judgments find themselves beholding unto them in 
any point of advisement or consideration, (singular men, and, 
namely, schismatics and heretics, were ever wont to have something 
or other extraordinary and remarkable), they may without my con- 
tradiction confess their beholdingness, and for so much profess a 
recognisance of their debt. 

I thank Nash for something ; Greene for more ; Pap-hatchet 
for much more ; Perne for most of all. Of him I learned to know 
him, to know my enemies, to know my friends, to know myself, 
to know the world, to know fortune, to know the mutability of 
times, and slipperiness of occasions ; an inestimable knowledge, 
and incomparably more worth than Doctor Gregorie's Ars mira- 
bilis, or Politian's Panepistemon. He was an old soaker indeed ; and 
had more wit in his hoary head than six hundred of these flourishing 
green heads and lusty curled pates. He would either wisely hold his 
peace, or smoothly flatter me to my face, or smoothly pay home 
with a witness ; but commonly in a corner, or in a maze, where the 
author might be uncertain, or his packing intricate, or his purpose 
some way excusable. No man could bear a heavy injury more 
lightly ; or forbear a learned adversary more cunningly ; or bourd 
a wilful friend more drily ; or circumvent a dangerous foe more 
covertly ; or countermine the deepest underminer more subtly ; or 
lullaby the circumspectest Argus more sweetly ; or transform himself 
into all shapes more deftly ; or play any part more kindly. He had 
such a patience, as might soften the hardest heart ; such a sober 
mood as might ripen the greenest wit ; such a sly dexterity as might 
quicken the dullest spirit ; such a scrupulous manner of proceeding, 
in doubtful cases, as might put a deep consideration into the 
shallowest fantasy ; such a suspicious jealousy, as might smell out the 
secretest complot, and defeat any practice; such an inextricable 
sophistry, as might teach an Agathocles to hypocrise profoundly, or 
a Hieron to tyrannise learnedly. Whereas other carried their hearts 


in their tongues, and their heads in their pens; he liked no such 
simplicity, but, after a smug and fleering guise, carried his tongue in 
his heart, his pen in his head, his dagger in his sleeve, his love in 
his bosom, his spite in his pocket ; and Avhen their speech, writing, 
or countenance bewrayed their affection, (as the manner is), nothing 
but his fact discovered his drift ; and not the beginning, but the end, 
was the interpreter of his meaning. Some of us, by way of experi- 
ment, assayed to feel his pulse, and to tickle his wily veins in his own 
vein, with smoothing and glosing as handsomely as we could ; but 
the bottom of his mind was a gulf of the main, and nothing could 
sound him deeply but the issue. Iwis elder men had been too 
young to manage such an enterprise with success ; and the finest 
intelligencer, or sagest politician in a state, would undoubtedly 
have been gravelled in the execution of that rash attempt. He 
could speak by contraries as quaintly as Socrates, and do by con- 
traries as shrewdly as Tiberius ; the master of Philip de Comines, 
Louis the French king, one of the busiest, jealousest, and craftiest 
princes that ever reigned in that kingdom, might have borrowed 
the Fox's satchel of him : and, peradventure, not only ^Esop's or 
Archilochus' Fox, but even Lysander's Fox, Aristomenes' Fox, Pi- 
sistratus' Fox, Ulysses" Fox, Chiron's Fox, and Proteus' own Fox 
might learn of him to play the Fox in the hole. For Stephen Gar- 
diner's Fox, or Machiavel's Fox, are too young cubs to compare 
with him; that would seem any thing rather than a Fox, and be a 
Fox rather than any thing else. Legendaries may record wonder- 
ments ; but examine the subtlest counsels, or the Aviliest practices 
of Gargantua himself, and even Gargantua himself, albeit his gown 
were furred with two thousand and five hundred Foxes' skins, might 
have been his pupil. And I doubt not but he that worshipped 
Solem in Leone, after some few lectures in his astronomy, would 
have honoured Solem in Vulpe. He once kept a cub for his pleasure 
in Peter-house in Cambridge, (as some keep birds, some squirrels, 



some puppies, some apes, and so forth), and ministered notable 
matter to S. Mary's pulpit, with stories of the Cub and the Fox, 
whose Acts and Monuments are notorious : but had the young one 
been as cunning an artist for his part as the old one was for his, I 
believe all the colleges in both Universities, or in the great Univer- 
sity of Christendom, could not have patterned the young man with 
such another bachelor of sophistry, or the old master with such 
another doctor of hypocrisy. 

Men may discoursed pleasure, and feed themselves with carps 
and pikes ; but I have known few of so good a nature, so devoid 
of obstinacy ; so far alienated from contumacy ; so contrary to 
frowardness or testiveness ; so tractable, so buxom, so flexible ; so 
appliable to every time, place, and person ; so curious in observing 
the least circumstance of importance or advantage ; so conformable 
to public proceedings and private occasions ; so respectful to every 
one of quality ; so courteous to men of worship ; so dutiful to men 
of honour ; so ceremonious in tendering his devotion to his good 
lords or good ladies ; so obedient to authority ; so loyal to majesty; 
so indifferent to all, and in all. He was gentle without familiarity 
(for he doubted contempt) ; severe without rigour (for he feared 
odiousness) : pleasant without levity (for he regarded his estima- 
tion) ; grave without solemnity (for he curried popular favour) ; not 
rash, but quick ; not hasty, but speedy ; not hot, but warm ; not 
eager in shew, but earnest in deed ; no barker at any, but biter of 
some; round and sound. 

The clergy never wanted excellent fortune-wrights ; but what 
bishop or politician in England so great a temporiser as he, whom 
every alteration found a new man, even as new as the new moon ? 
And, as he long yawned to be an archbishop or bishop in the one 
or other church, (they wronged him that termed the image of both 
churches a neuter), so did he not arch-deserve to be installed the 
puling preacher of humility, humility, humility ; and the gaping 

c c 


orator of obedience, obedience, obedience ? Was not ever Pax vobis 
one end of his gasping sermon, and the very foot of his warbling 
song ? Be it percase a small matter to temporise in four alterations 
of kings and queens ; but what an ambidexterity, or rather omni- 
dexterity, had the man, that at one and the same meeting had a 
pleasing tongue for a protestant, a flattering eye for a papist, and 
a familiar nod for a good fellow ? It was nothing with him to tem- 
porise in genere, or in specie, according to Machiavel's ground of 
fortunate success in the world, that could so formally and featly 
personise in individuo. 

He must know all the sinews of commodity, and acquaint him- 
self with all the joints of advantage, that will live and teach other 
to live. O falix Cato, tu solus nosti vivere. Or if Cato were over 
peremptory and Stoical to enjoy that felicity, O fcdlx Perne, tua 
solius Ars vivendi. Doubtless it were better for the world, by infinite 
masses of millions, could the barbarous and tragical tyrants, Saturn 
and Mars, two devilish gods, moderate their fury as he could do ; 
or the hypocritical and comical tyrants, Jupiter and Mercury, two 
godly devils, temper their cunning as he could do. It was in him 
to give instructions unto Ovid, for the repenning of his Metamor- 
phoses anew ; and he better merited the name of Vertumnus than 
Vertumnus himself. His designments were mysteries ; his counsels 
oracles ; his intentions like Minotaur in the labyrinth ; his actions 
like the stratagems of Fabius; his defiance like the welcome of 
Circe ; his menaces like the songs of the Sirens ; his curses like the 
blessings of those witches in Africa, that forspoke what they praised, 
and destroyed what they wished to be saved. 

I have seen spaniels, mongrels, libbards, antelopes ; scorpions, 
snakes, cockatrices, vipers, and many other serpents in sugar work ; 
but to this day never saw such a standing dish of sugar work as 
that sweet-tongued Doctor, that spake pleasingly, whatsoever he 
thought, and was otherwhiles a fair prognostication of foul weather. 


Such an authentical irony engrossed, as all oratory cannot eftsoons 

Smooth voices do well in most societies, and go currently away 
in many reckonings, when rough-hewn words do but lay blocks in 
their own way. He found it in a thousand experiences, and was the 
precisest practitioner of that soft and tame rhetoric that ever I 
knew in my dealings. And in case I should prefer any man of 
whatsoever quality before him, for a stayed government of his 
affections, (which he always ruled as Homer's Minerva bridled Pe- 
gasus), or for an infinite and bottomless patience, sib to the patience 
of Anaxarchus or Job, I should injury him and mine own conscience 

Were he handled as London kennels are used of sluts, or the 
Thames of slovens, he coulch pocket it up as handsomely as they; 
and complain in as few words as any channel or river in England, 
when they are most contumeliously depraved. His other virtues, 
were colours in grain; his learning, lawn in starch; his wisdom, 
napery in suds ; his conscience, the weather in April, when he was 
young ; the weather in September, as he grew elder ; the weather 
in February, towards his end ; and not such a current prognostica- 
tion for the fifty years wherein he flourished, as the ephemerides of 
his conscience. For his smug and canonical countenance certainly 
he might have been St. Boniface himself; for his fair and formal 
speech St. Benedict, or St. Eulaly ; for his merry conceits St. Hil- 
lary ; for his good husbandry (he was merry and wise) St. Servatius ; 
for his invincible sufferance, St. Vincent the Martyr ; for his retract- 
ing or recanting, St. Augustine; for his not seeing all things, St. 
Bernard ; for his preaching to geese, St. Francis, or St. Fox ; for 
his praying, a St. Pharisee ; for his fasting, a St. Publican ; for his 
chastity, a Sol. in virgine; for his pastoral devotion, a Shepherd's 
Calendar ; for his fame, an Almanack of Saints. But if ever any 
were patience incorporate, it was he ; and if ever any were hypo- 


crisy incarnate, it was he ; unto whom I promised to dedicate &n 
eternal memorial of his immortal virtues, and have paid some little 
part of my vows. I twice or thrice tried him to his face, somewhat 
saucily and smartly ; but the picture of Socrates, or the image of 
St. Andrew, not so unmoveable ; and I still reverence the honour- 
able remembrance of that grave and most eloquent silence as the 
sagest lesson of my youth. Had Nash a dram of his wit, his an- 
swer should have been mum, or his confutation the sting of the 
scorpion. Other Strange News, like Pap-hatchet's rap with a bable, 
are of the nature of that same snout-horned rhinoceros, that biteth 
himself by the nose ; and bestir them like the doughty fencer of 
Barnwell, that played his taking up with a recumbentibus, and his 
laying down with a broken pate in some three or four corners of 
his head. He must revenge himself with a learned discourse of 
deepest silence, or come better provided than the edge of the razor, 
that would be valued as wise as that Apollo Doctor ; whose epitaph 
none can display accordingly, but some spirit of the air or the fire. 
For his zeal to God and the church was an airy triplicity ; and his 
devotion to his prince and the state a fiery Trigon. And surely he 
Avas well advised, that comprised a large history in one epithet, and 
honoured him with the title of the Thrice-learned J)ean. Only I 
must needs grant one such secret, and profound enemy, or shall I 
say, one such thrice secret, and thrice profound enemy, was incom- 
parably more pernicious than a hundred Hatchets or Country-cuffs, 
a thousand Greenes or Coney-catchers, an army of Nashes or Pierces 
Penniless; a forest of wild beasts, or whatsoever Ilias of professed 

It is not the threatener, but the underminer, that worketh the 
mischief; not the open assault, but the privy surprise, that terrifieth 
the old soldier; not the surging flood, but the low water, that 
affrayeth the expert pilot ; not the high, but the hidden rock, that 
endangereth the skilful mariner ; not the busy pragmatical, but the 


close politician, that supplanteth the puissant state ; not the pro- 
claimed war, but pretended peace, that striketh the deadly stroke. 
What historian remembereth not the subtle stratagems of King 
Bacchus against the Indians ; of King Midas against the Phrygians ; 
of King Romulus against the Sabines ; of King Cyrus against the 
Lydians ; of many other politic conquerors, against sundry mighty 
nations, principalities, seigniories, cities, castles, fortresses ? Brave 
valour may sometimes execute with fury ; but prowess is weak, in 
comparison of other practices : and no puissance to policy, no rage 
to craft, no force to wit, no pretence to religion, (what spoils under 
colour of religion ?) no text to the gloss ; what will not the gloss 
maintain, by hook or crook ? It Avas not Mercurius' wood-knife 
that could so easily have dispatched Argus, the lieutenant of Queen 
Juno, had not his enchanting pipe first lulled him asleep. And 
was not Ulysses in greater jeopardy by the alluring Sirens, charming 
musicians, than by cruel Polyphemus, a boisterous giant? Un- 
doubtedly Caesar was as singularly Avise as unmatchably valiant, 
and rather a Fox than a Lion ; but, in his Avisdom, he Avas more 
afraid of Sylla than of Marius ; of Cato than of Catiline ; of Cassius 
than of Antony ; of Brutus than of Pompey ; to be short, of Saturn 
than of Mars ; of Mercury than of Jupiter himself. It were a long 
discourse to survey the Avily trains and crafty fetches of the old 
and neAv Avorld : but Avhosoever is acquainted with stratagems, an- 
cient or modern, knoAveth what an hoard of policies lurketh in the 
shroud of dissimulation ; and Avhat Avonders may be achieved by 
unexpected surprises. The professed enemy rather incumbereth 
himself and annoyeth his friends, than overthroAveth his adversary, 
or opposeth his foes. Alexander's and Ccesar's sudden irruptions 
made them the lords of the Avorld, and masters of kings : Avhilst 
great threateners get nothing but greatest loss and greater shame. 
What should I speak of the first founders of monarchies, Ninus and 
Cyrus ? of the venturous Argo^pilots ? of the Avorthy Heroes ? of the 


doughtiest Errant-Knights? of the bravest men in all ages? whose 
mightiest engine (notwithstanding whatsoever hyperbole of valour or 
fury) was Scarborough warning ; and whose conquests were as soon 
known abroad as their invasions. 

No power like the unlikely assault; nor any mischief so 
peremptory as the unlooked-for affliction. He that warneth me 
armeth me, and it is much that a prepared mind and body may 
endure : but unsuspected accidents are hardly remedied ; and, in 
the fairest weather of security, to offer the foulest play of hostility, 
is an incredible advantage. So Caesar Borgia, the sovereign type 
of Machiavel's prince, Avon the dukedom of Urbin in one day. 
So the Emperor Charles the Fifth's army, passing through Rome, 
occursively sacked the city, and enriched themselves exceedingly. 
So many invincible states have been suddenly ruinated, and many 
puissant personages easily vanquished. Brave exploits, where the 
cause as honourable, as the effect admirable. But honourable or 
dishonourable policy was ever a privy-council, whose posy Dolus 
an Virtus : glory a ravishing oration ; ambition a courser ; love a 
hotspur; anger a firebrand ; hope a grain of mustard-seed ; courage 
an errant knight ; covetise a merchant venturer ; fury a fierce exe- 
cutioner, whose word the sword, and whose law, Non qua, sed quo. 

As monarchies, principalities, and conquests, so petty govern- 
ments, seigniories, lieutenantships, magistracies, masterships, fel- 
lowships have their colourable practices ; and nothing is cunning 
that is apparent. The fox preacheth pax vobis, to the capons and 
geese; and never worse intended than when the best pretended. 
Horace's, or rather Borgia's, 

Astuta ingenuum Vulpes imitata Leonem; 

the deepest ground of highest policies, and the very stratagem of 
stratagems. The glorious Indian conquests are famously known to 
the world : and what was the valorous Duke of Parma, in his 
bravest victories, but Vulpes imitata Leonem, and a new compound 


of old stratagems? Jovius Fox, in his Militar, and amorous Em- 
press, may call himself a Fox : but some learned clerks and judi- 
cious censors, profound politics, like Machiavel or Perne, (for Ma- 
chiavel never deceived with his pen as Perne devised with his mind) 
would go very nigh to call him a goose, that gave for his motto 
Simul astu, et dentibus utor. And his Gryphon, in some opinions, 
>vas never a whit the more terrible for that lusty posy, a jolly he- 
roical verse in a grammar-school : 

Unguibus, et rostro, atque alls armatus in hostem. 

I never read that Alexander's Bucephalus, or Caesar's courageous 
horse, had any such or such glorious posies : and I believe Bevis's 
Arundel was no great braggart with motts. 

The Trojan Horse, or rather the Grecian Horse, was not such 
an Ass to advance himself with any such proud impress, as Scandit 
fatalis machina muros ; but ministered ruthful and tragical matter 
of that haughty posy to the stately poet. Did the flying Pegasus 
of the redoubted Bellerophon, before his adventurous expedition 
against the hideous lion-dragon Chimaera, that is, against the fierce 
savages which inhabited the fire-vomiting mountain in Lycia, pro- 
vide to arm himself with a brave posy ; or boast of his horrible 
mother Medusa, or of his own Gorgonean wings ? Did the fiery 
Horse of the Sun, that is, of the hottest East countries, threaten 
Prince Phaeton, or the world, with a dreadful verse? 

Tune sciet ignipedum Vires expertus Equorum. 

May not, peradventure, the proudest horse be counter-motted with 
a poor fragment of Statius? Serviet asper Equus. Or may not 
haply the doughtiest Ass be emblemed with a good old device? 
insulso tribulus sapit asper asello. The roughest net is not the best 
catcher of birds ; nor the finest policy a professed termagant. Al- 
though Lysander's oxen said nothing, yet the Fox Lysander could 
tell which of them was a sluggard, and which laborious. It is not 
the verbal mott, but the actual impress that argueth a generous 


or noble mind. Children and fools use to crake : action the only 
emblem of Jugurtha, and the notablest fellows, whose manner is 
plurimum facere; minimum de se loqui ; the honourablest device 
that worthy valour can invent. 

The tree is known by the fruit, and needeth no other posy : 
the gallantest mottof a good apple4ree, is a good apple-tree; of a 
good warden-tree, a good warden ; of a good lemon-tree, a good 
lemon ; of a good palm, a good date ; of a good vine, a good grape ; 
and so forth : their leaves their prognostications ; their blossoms 
their boasts ; their branches and boughs their bravery ; their fruit 
their arms, their emblems, their nobility, their glory. I dare not 
say that Pittacus was as wise as he, that beginneth like front-tufted 
occasion, (for occasion is bald behind) and endeth like Ovid's lover, 
(for Ovid's lover must not attempt but where he will conquer) : 
few resoluter motts than Aut mine aut nunquam: and what va- 
lianter posy than Aut nunquam tentes, aut per/ice : but Pittacus 
was one of the seven famous masters, and in his sage wisdom 
thought it a sober lesson, Foretel not what thou intendest to 
achieve, lest, peradventure, being frustrate, thou be laughed to 
scorn, and made a notable flouting-stock. Perhaps he was an Ass, 
and speaketh like a fool : (for who is not an Ass and a fool with 
this Thomas Wisdom ?) but some place-men are of his opinion, and 
will hardly believe that the frankest braggarts are the doughtiest 
doers. Were I a collector of witty apophthegms, like Plutarch, or of 
pithy Gnomes, like Theognis, or of dainty emblems, like Alciat, 
surely Pittacus should not be the last, at the least, in that rhapsody. 
Meanwhile, it is nothing out of my Avay to praise the close or sus- 
picious Ass, that will not trouble any other with his privy counsel, 
but can be content to be his own secretary. 

There be more quaint experiments in an university, than many 
a politic head would imagine. I could nominate the man, that 
could teach the Delphical Oracle and the Egyptian Crocodile to 


play their parts. His civil tongue was a riddle, his ecclesiastical 
tongue a hieroglyphic, his face a visard, his eyes cormorants, his 
ears martyrs, his wit a maze, his heart a juggling-stick, his mind a 
mist, his reason a veil, his affection a curb, his conscience a mask, 
his religion a triangle in geometry, his charity a syllogism in Ce- 
larent; his hospitality, eleven months in the year, as good as Good 
Friday; for one month, or very near, he was resident upon his 
deanery, and kept open house in the Isle, like Ember-week. Of 
another man's, no man more liberal : of his own, no man more 
frugal. He deeply considered (as he did all things) that good 
ceconomy was good policy : that learning was to be commended, 
but lucre and preferment to be studied : that he soweth in vain, 
which moweth not his own advantage : that nothing was to be be- 
stowed without hope of usance : that love or hatred avail not, but 
where they may prevail : that affections were to be squared by oc- 
casion, and reasons to be framed by profit : that names of par- 
tialities, sects, and divisions, either in civil or religious causes, were 
but foolish words or pelting terms ; and all were to be estimated 
by their valuation in esse : that the true square and right geo- 
metrical compass of things is hability, the only thing that by a 
sovereign prerogative deserveth to be called substance : that, ac- 
cording to Chaucer's English, there can be little adling without 
much gabbing, that is, small getting without great lying and cog- 
ging : that it was more wisdom to borrow, than to lend gratis : 
that the raven's croaking loseth him many a fat prey : that the 
forestalling and engrossing of privy commodities was a pretty sup- 
ply of privy tithes : that many a little, by little and little maketh 
a mickle : that often return of gain amounteth : that the Fox never 
fareth better than when he is cursed most : that a silver pick-lock 
was good at a pinch, and a golden hook a cunning fisher of men : 
that every man was nearest to himself, and the skin nearer than 
the shirt : that there were many principles and precepts in art, but 

D D 


one principal maxim, or sovereign eautel in practice, si non caste, 
tamen caute : that there was no security in the world without Epi- 
charmus' incredulity, Dion's Apistie, or Hey wood's Fast-bind and 
fast-find : that Bayard in the stable, and Legem pone, were sub- 
stantial points of law : that many things are hypothetically to be 
practised, which may not categorically be revealed : that two friends 
or brethren may keep counsel when one of the two is away : that 
unum necessarium ; and so forth. For vincit qui patitur would go 
nigh hand to open the whole pack, and tell wonderful tales out of 

Pap-hatchet talketh of publishing a hundred merry tales of 
certain poor Martinists: but I could here dismask such a rich 
mummer, and record such a hundred wise tales of memorable note, 
with such a smart moral, as would undoubtedly make this pamphlet 
the vendiblest book in London, and the Register one of the fa- 
mousest authors in England. But I am none of those that utter 
all their learning at once : and the close man (that was no man's 
friend but from the teeth outward, no man's foe but from the 
heart inward) may percase have some secret friends, or respective 
acquaintance, that, in regard of his calling, or some private con- 
sideration, would be loath to have his coat blazed, or his satchel 
ransacked. Beside, what methodical artist would allow the enco- 
mium of the Fox in the praise of the Ass, unless I would prove by 
irrefragable demonstration that the false Fox was a true Ass ; as I 
once heard a learned physician affirm, if a goose were a Fox, he 
was a Fox? Yet surely, by his favour, who could sharply judge 
and durst freely speak, he was a Fox and a half, in his whole body, 
and in every part of his soul : albeit, I will not deny but he might 
in some respects be a Goose, and after a sort (as it were) an Ass : 
especially for defeating one without cause, and troubling the same 
without effect, that, for aught he knew, might possibly have it in 
him to requite him alive and dead. 


Let the wronged party not be injured ; and I dare avow he 
never did, nor ever will, injury or prejudice any, in deed, word, or 
intention : but if any whosoever will needs be offering abuse in 
fact, or snip-snapping in terms, sith other remedy shrinketh, he 
may peradventure not altogether pass unanswered. He thinketh 
not now on the booted fool, that always jetteth in his stirrups, with 
his stilliard hat in his drowsy eyes ; but of another good ancient 
gentleman, that mought have been his father for age, his tutor for 
learning, his counsellor for wisdom, his creditor for silver, his cate- 
chist for religion, and his ghostly father for devotion. He once, in 
a scold's policy, called me Fox, between jest and earnest : (it was 
at the funeral of the Honourable Sir Thomas Smith, where he 
preached, and where it pleased my Lady Smith and the co-execu- 
tors to bestow certain rare manuscript books upon me, which he de- 
sired) : I answered him, between earnest and jest, I might haply be 
a Cub, as I might be used ; but was over young to be a Fox, espe- 
cially in his presence. He smiled, and replied, after his manner, 
with a cameleon's gape, and a very emphatical nod of the head. 

Whosoever or whatsoever he was, certes, my old back friend, 
of Peter-house, was the lock of cunning conveyance : but such a 
lock as could not possibly be opened with any key but the key 
of opportunity and the hand of advantage. If opportunity were 
abroad, Jodocus was not at home : where occasion presented ad- 
vantage, policy wanted no dexterity ; and the light-footed Fox was 
not so swift of foot, as nimble of wit and quick of hand. Some, 
that called him the luke-wann Doctor, and likened him to milk from 
the cow, found him at such a fit over warm for their ferventest zeal : 
and I remember a time, when one of the hottest furnace, shewing 
himself little better than a cow ; he, in a quavering voice, and a light- 
ning spirit, taught the wild roe his lesson. Haste was not so forward 
to run to a commodity, but Speed was swifter to fly to an advantage ; 
and where Haste somewhat grossly bewrayed his forwardness, Speed 


very finely marched in a cloud, and found the Goddess Hypocrisy as 
sly a conductress as ever was fair Venus to jEneas, or wise Minerva 
to Ulysses, in their quaint passages. We may discourse of natural 
magic and supernatural cabal, whereof the learnedest and cre- 
diblest antiquity hath recorded wonderful histories : but it is the 
rod of Mercury and the ring of Gyges that work miracles ; and no 
mathematician, magician, or cabalist may countervail him, that in 
his heroical expeditions can walk in a cloud, like a vapour, or in his 
divine practices go invisible, like a spirit. Brave minds and ven- 
turous hearts, thank him for this invaluable note, that could teach 
you to achieve more with the little finger of policy, than you can 
possibly compass with the mighty arm of prowess. Or else, in my 
curious observation of infinite histories, Hypocrisy had never been 
the great tyrant of the world, arid the huge Antichrist of the Church. 
The weapon of the fire and air is lightning : the weapon of the 
earth and water, cunning. Was not he shrewdly encountered, that 
was prestigiously besieged, and invisibly undermined with that 
weapon of weapons? What other supply could have seconded or 
rescued him, but Death ; that had often been the Death of his life 
in his worthiest friends, and what eftsoons the death of his Death 
in his wiliest enemy ? Whose spite was intricate, but detected ; 
and whose subtlety marvellous, but disveiled : and he that disclosed 
the same, is perhaps to leave an immortal testimonial of his Indian 
discovery. In the mean time, as the admirable geometrician, Archi- 
medes, would have the figure of a cylinder or roller engraved upon 
his tomb : so, it were reason, the thrice famous Divine should have 
the three-sided figure, or equilater triangle, imprinted upon his se- 
pulchre ; with this, or some worthier epitaph, devised according to 
the current method of Tria sequuntur Tria. 



Ask not, what news ? that coine to visit wood : 
My treasure is, Three Faces in one Hood : 
A changling Triangle : a Turn-coat rood. 

A luke-warm Trigon : a three-edged tool : 
A three-oar'd galley : a three-footed stool : 
A three-wing'd weathercock : a three-tongu'd school. 

Three-headed Cerberus, woe be unto thee : 
Here lies the only Trey, and Rule of Three : 
Of all Triplicities the A. B. C. 

Somebody oweth the three-shapen Geryon a greater duty, in 
recognisance of his often-promised courtesies, and will not be found 
ungrateful at occasion. He were very simple that would fear a 
conjuring Hatchet, a railing Greene, or a threatening Nash : but the 
old dreamer, like the old dog, biteth sore, and no foe to the flatter- 
ing Perne or pleasing Titius : that have sugar in their lips, gall in 
their stomachs, water in one hand, fire in the other ; peace in their 
sayings, war in their doings; sweetness in their exhortations, bit- 
terness in their canvasses ; reverence in their titles, coercion in their 
actions ; notable men in their kind, but pitch-branded with noto- 
rious dissimulation ; large promisers, compendious performers ; shal- 
low in charity, profound in malice ; superficial in theory, deep in 
practice ; masters of sophistry, doctors of hypocrisy ; formal friends, 
deadly enemies ; thrice excellent impostors. These, these were the 
only men that I ever dreaded ; especially that same odd man, Triurn 
Litterarum, that for a linsey-woolsey wit, and a cheverel conscience, 
was A per se A : other braggarts or threateners, whatsoever, I fear, as 
I fear Hobgoblin and the bugs of the night. When I have sought up 
my day charms and night spells, I hope their power to hurt shall be 
as ridiculously small, as the desire to affright is outragiously great. I 
never stood stiffly in defence of mine own ability or sufficiency : they 


that impeach me of imperfection in learning or practice, in discours- 
ing or enditing, in any art or profession, confute me not, but confirm 
mine own confession. It is only my honesty and credit that I en- 
deavour to maintain : other defects I had rather supply by industry 
than cloak by excuse ; and refer the decision of such points to the 
arbitrement of indifferency : to which also I prefer the praises of 
my dispraisers, and beseech equity to render them their due, with a 
largess of favour. Judgment is the wisest reader of books : and no 
art of distinctions so infallible as grounded discretion, which will 
soon discern between white and black ; and easily perceive what 
wanteth, what superaboundeth ; what becorneth, what misbe- 
cometh; what in this or that respect deserveth commendation; 
what may reasonably or probably be excused ; what would be 
marked with an asterisk, what noted with a black coal. As in 
metals, so in styles, he hath slender skill that cannot descry copper 
from gold, tin from silver, iron from steel, the refuse from the rich 
vein, the dross from the pure substance. It is little of value, either 
for matter or manner, that can be performed in such perfunctory 
pamphlets on either side : but, how little soever it be or may appear, 
for mine own part, I refuse not to underly the verdict of any cour- 
teous or equal censure, that can discern betwixt chalk and cheese. 
Touching the matter, what wanteth or might be expected here, 
shall be particularly and largely recompensed, as well in my Dis- 
courses, intitled Nash's S. Fame, which are already finished, and 
attend the publication, as also in other supplements thereof, 
especially those of the above-mentioned gentlewoman, whom, after 
some advisement, it pleased to make the Strange News of the railing 
Villain the cussionet of her needles and pins. Though my scrib- 
blings may fortune to continue awhile, and then have their desert, 
according to the laudable custom, (what should toys or dalliances 
live in a world of business ?) yet I dare undertake with warrant, 
whatsoever she writeth must needs remain an immortal work ; and 


will leave in the activest world an eternal memory of the silliest 
vermin, that she shall vouchsafe to grace with her beautiful and 
allective style, as ingenious as elegant. 

Touching the manner, I take it a nice and frivolous curiosity 
for my person, to bestow any cost upon a trifle of no importance ; 
and am so overshadowed with the flourishing branches of that hea- 
venly plant, that I may seem to have purposely prevented all com- 
parison, in yielding that homage to her divine wit, which at my 
hands she hath meritoriously deserved. Albeit, I protest she has 
neither bewitched with entreaty, nor juggled with persuasion, nor 
charmed with any corruption ; but only moved with the reason w T hich 
the equity of my cause, after some little communication, in her un- 
spotted conscience suggested. They that long to advance their 
own shame, (I always except a phoenix or two) may bravely enter 
the lists of Comparison, and do her the highest honour in despite, 
that they could possibly devise in a serviceable devotion. She 
hath in my knowledge read the notablest histories of the most sin- 
gular women of all ages, in the Bible, in Homer, in Virgil, (her 
three sovereign books, the divine Archetypes of Hebrew, Greek, 
and Roman valour) ; in Plutarch, in Polyen, in Petrarch, in Agrippa, 
in Tyraquell, in whom not, that have specially tendered their dili- 
gent devoir, to honour the excellentest women that have lived in 
the world ; and commending the meanest, extolling the worthiest, 
imitating the rarest, and, approving all, according to the proportion 
of their endowments, envieth none, but Art in person, and Virtue 
incorporate, the two preciousest creatures that ever flourished upon 
earth. Other women may yield to Penelope ; Penelope to Sappho, 
Sappho to Arachne, Arachne to Minerva, Minerva to Juno, Juno 
to none of her sex : she to all that use her and hers well : to none, 
of any sex, that misuse her or others. She is neither the noblest, nor 
the fairest, nor the finest, nor the richest lady : but the gentlest, and 
wittiest, and bravest, and invinciblest gentlewoman that I know. Not 


such a wench in Europe, to unswaddle a fair Baby, or to swaddle a 
foul puppy. Some of you may aim at her personage ; and it is not 
the first time that I have termed her style the tinsel of the daintiest 
Muses and sweetest Graces : but I dare not particularise her de- 
scription, according to my conceit of her beau-desert, without her 
licence or permission, that standeth upon masculine, not feminine 
terms, and is respectively to be dealt withal, in regard of her cou- 
rage rather than her fortune. And what if she can also publish 
more works in a month, than Nash hath published in his whole life, 
or the pregnantest of our inspired Heliconists can equal ? Could I 
dispose of her recreations, and some other exercises, I nothing 
doubt but it were possible (notwithstanding the most curious cu- 
riosity of this age) to breed a new admiration in the mind of Con- 
tempt, and to restore the excellentest books into their wonted 
estate, even in integrum. Let me be notoriously condemned of 
partiality and simplicity, if she fail to accomplish more in gallant 
performance, (now she hath condescended to the spinning up of 
her silken task) than I ever promised before, or may seem to insi- 
nuate now. Yet she is a woman ; and for some passions may chal- 
lenge the general privilege of her sex, and a special dispensation in 
the cause of an affectionate friend, devoted to the service of her 
excellent desert, whom he hath found no less than the handmaid of 
Art, the mistress of Wit, the gentlewoman of right Gentleness, and 
the lady of right Virtue. Howbeit, even those passions she hath so 
ordered and managed, with such a witty temper of violent, but ad- 
vised motions, full of spirit and blood, but as full of sense and 
judgment, that they may rather seem the marrow of reason, than 
the froth of affection : and her hottest fury may fitly be resembled 
to the passing of a brave career by a Pegasus, ruled with the reins 
of a Minerva's bridle. Her pen is the very Pegasus indeed, and 
runneth like a winged horse, governed with the hand of exquisite 
skill. She it is that must return the mighty famous work of Supe- 


rerogation with Benet and Collect. I have touched the booted 
Shakerley a little, that is always riding, and never rideth ; always 
confuting, and never confuteth ; always ailing something, and rail- 
ing any thing : that shamefully and odiously misuseth every friend 
or acquaintance, as he hath served some of his favourablest patrons 
(whom, for certain respects, I am not to name), M. Apis Lapis, 
Greene, Marlow, Chettle, and whom not ? that saluteth me with a 
Gabrielissime Gabriel, which can give him the farewell with a Thomas- 
sissime Thomas, or an Assissime Ass ; yet have not called him a filthy 
companion, or a scurvy fellow, as all the world, that knoweth him, 
calleth him : that in his Pierce Penniless and Strange News, the 
bull-beggars of his courage, hath omitted no word or phrase of his 
railing dictionary, but only Tu es Starnigogolus ; and hath valiantly 
vowed to have The Last Word, to die for it. 

Plaudite Victori, Juvenis hie quot quot adestis: 
Nam me qui vicit, doctior est Nebulo. 

The best is, where my answer is, or may be deemed unsufficient 
(as it is commonly over tame for so wild a bullock), there she with 
as visible an analysis as any anatomy, strippeth his art into his 
doublet, his wit into his shirt, his whole matter and manner into 
their first principles; his matter in materiam primam; his manner 
in for mam pr imam ; and both in privationem ultimam, id est, his last 
Word, so gloriously threatened. 

I desire no other favour at the hands of courtesy, but that art 
and wit may be her readers, and equity my judge ; to whose im- 
partial integrity I humbly appeal in the premises, with dutiful 
recommendation of Nash's S. Fame, even to S. Fame herself, who, 
with her own flourishing hands, is shortly to erect a maypole in 
honour of his victorious Last Word. Doubt ye not, gallant gentle- 
men, he shall find the guerdon of his valour, and the meed of his 
meritorious work. Though my pen be a slug-plum, look for a quill 

E E 


as quick as quicksilver ; and pity the sorry swain that hath incurred 
the indignation of such a quill, and may everlastingly be a mi- 
serable spectacle for all libelling rakehells, that otherwise might 
desperately presume to venture the foil of their crank folly. 

The stay of the publication resteth only at my instance : who 
can conceive small hope of any possible account, or regard of mine 
own discourses, were that fair body of the sweetest Venus in print, 
as it is redoubtedly armed with the complete harness of the bravest 
Minerva. When his necessary defence hath sufficiently accleared 
him, whom it principally concerneth to acquit himself, she shall no 
sooner appear in person, like a new star in Cassiopeia, but every 
eye of capacity Avill see a conspicuous difference between her and 
other mirrors of eloquence, and the woeful slave of <S. Fame must 
either blindfold himself with insensible perversity, or behold his own 
notorious folly with most shameful shame. It will then appear as 
it were in a clear urinal, whose wit hath the green-sickness : and I 
would deem it a greater marvel than the mightiest wonder, that 
happened in the famous year 88, if his cause should not have the 
falling sickness, that is encountered with an arm of such force. 

M. Stowe, let it be enchronicled for one of the singularities or 
miracles of this age, that a thing lighter than Tarleton's toy, and 
vainer than Shakerley's conceit, that is, Nash should be the subject 
of so invaluable a work ; and be it known to impudency by these 
presents, that his brazen wall is battered to pindust, and his iron 
gate shaken all to nothing. It is in the least of her energetical lines 
to do it ; more easily than a fine thread cracketh a jangling bell : 
a pretty experiment, and not unlike some of her strange inventions, 
and rare devises, as forcible to move, as feat to delight. The issue 
will resolve the doubtfullest mind : and I am content to refer in- 
credulity to the visible and palpable evidence of the term probatory. 
When either the light of nature and the sun of art must be in 


eclipse, or the shining rays of her singular gifts will display them- 
selves in their accustomed brightness, and discover the base ob- 
scurity of that mischievous planet, that, in a vile ambition, seeketh 
the exaltation of his fame by the depression of their credit that are 
able to extinguish the proudest glimpse of his lamp. Her rare 
perfections can liveliest blazon themselves ; and this pen is a very 
unsufficient orator to express the heavenly beauties of her mind : 
but I never knew virtue a more inviolable virgin than in her excel- 
lent self; and the day is yet to come, wherein I ever found her wit 
a defective or ecliptic creature. She knoweth I flatter not her 
fortune ; and I honour her virtue, whose confirmed modesty I could 
never see disguised with any gloss of commendation, who can blame 
me for discharging some little part of a greater duty ? She hath in 
mere gratuity bestowed a largess upon her affectionate servant, 
that imputeth the same as an excessive favour to her hyperbolical 
courtesy, not to any merit to himself; but the lesser my desert, the 
greater her liberality, whom I cannot any way reacquit, farther than 
the zeal of a most devoted mind may extend ; as incessantly thank- 
ful, as infinitely debtful. For to address a plausible discourse, or 
to garnish a panegyrical oration in her praise, as occasion may pre- 
sent, will appear to be a task of civil justice, not any piece of civil 
courtesy, when her own silver Tracts shall publish the precious 
valour of her golden virtues, and decypher the inestimable worth of 
the author by her divine handiwork. 

At the first view whereof, as at the piercing sight of the 
amiablest beauty, who can tell how sudden passions may work ? or 
what a string some tickling interjection may leave in the heart and 
liver of affection ? I am ever prone to hope as I wish, even the 
best of the worst : and although wilful malice be a stiff and stubborn 
adversary to appease, yet I have seen a greater miracle than the 
pacification of paper wars, or the atonement of inkhorn foes. There 
she standeth, that with the finger of industry, and the tongue of 


affability, hath achieved some stranger wonders, upon as rough and 
harsh fellows as 

The noddy Nash, whom every serving Swash, 
With pot-jests dash, and every whip-dog lash: 

(for the rhyme is more famous than was intended) and with the 
same causes emproved, why may she not directly or violently ac- 
complish the same effects? or what is impossible to the persuasive 
and pathetical influence of reason and affection ? It is a very dismal 
and caitiff planet that can find in his heart to encounter those two 
gracious stars with malicious aspects, which he must despitefully 
encounter, that will obstinately oppose his peevish rancour to her 
sweet civility. In case nothing else will prevail with insatiable envy 
and unquenchable malice (for so 1 am eftsoons informed, what- 
soever course be taken for the mitigation of his rage), yet I am 
vehemently persuaded in physic, and resolved in policy, that the 
oil of scorpions will finally heal the wounds of scorpions. 

I know one that experimentally proved what a rod in lye could 
do with the curstest boy in a city ; arid found the imperative mood 
a better orator than the optative. It may fortune, the same man 
hath such a whipsy-doxy in store for a jack sauce, or unmannerly 
puppy, as may school him to turn over a new leaf, and to cry the 
pitifullest peccavi of a woeful penitent. For my part, whom at this 
instant it smartly behoveth to be resolute, I confess I was never 
more entangled and intricated in the discourse of mine own reason, 
than since I had to do with this desperate Dick, that dareth 
utter, and will cog any thing, to serve his turn. Not to confute 
him, in some respects were perhaps better; to confute him is ne- 
cessary. Were it possible to confute him in not confuting him, 
I am of opinion it would be done : (for insolency, or any injury, 
would be repressed by order of law, where order of law is a suf- 
ficient remedy ; and silence, in some cases, were the finest elo- 
quence, or scorn the fittest answer) ; and haply I could wish, not 


to confute him in confuting him (for the discovery of Coney-catchers 
doth not greatly edify some bad minds) ; but seeing he is so de- 
sperate, that he will not be confuted with not confuting, I must 
desire his patience to be a little content to be confuted with con- 
futing, rather after his or others guise, than after my manner. 
Answer not a fool according to his foolishness, lest thou also be like him: 
answer a fool according to his foolishness, lest he be r&ise in his own 
conceit. They are both proverbs of the wisest master of sentences, 
of whom also I have learned, that to the horse belongeth a whip, 
to the ass a snaffle, to the fool's back a rod. Let no man be wiser 
than Solomon. The fool's head must not be suffered to coy itself; 
the colt must feel the whip or the wand ; the ass the snaffle or the 
goad ; the fool's back the rod or the cudgel. Let the colt, the ass, 
the fool, beware in time, or he may peradventure feel them indeed, 
with such a Tu autem as hath not often been quavered in any 
language. If peace or treaty may not be heard, war shall command 
peace ; and he muzzle the mouth of rankest impudency, or fiercest 
hostility, that can do it ; and do it otherwise than is yet imagined ; 
and yet nothing like that inspired gentlewoman, whose pen is the 
shot of the musket, or rather a shaft of heaven, swifter than any 
arrow, and mightier than any hand weapon, when courtesy is re- 
pulsed, and hostility must enforce amity ; but otherwise how gra- 
ciously amiable, how divinely sweet ! 

Gentlemen, look upon the lovely glistering star of the morning ; 
and look for such an oriental star, when she displayeth the resplen- 
dishing beams of her bright wit and pure bounty. Meanwhile, if some 
little shimering light appear at a little crevice, I have my request, 
and some pretty convenient leisure to take order with another kind 
of Strange News in Westminster Hall. It is some men's fortune to 
have their hands full of unneedful business at once ; and, for myself, 
I should make no great matter of two or three such glowing irons 
in the fire, were it not some small grief or discouragement to con- 


sider, that nothing can be perfectly or sufficiently performed 
by halves or fragments; which necessary interruption hath been 
the utter disgrace of the premises, and a great hinderance to my 
larger discourses, more ample trifles. I can but crave pardon, and 
prepare amends, as leisure and occasion may afford opportunity. 
Learned wits can skilfully examine, and honest minds will uprightly 
consider circumstances with courteous regard of favour, or due 
respect of reason ; in whose only indifferency, as in a safe and sweet 
harborough, I repose my whole affiance and security, as heretofore. 
And so for this present I surcease to trouble your gentle courtesies, 
of whose patience I have (according to particular occasions) some- 
time unmannerly, but modestly; often familiarly, but sincerely; 
most-what freely, but considerately; always confidently, but re- 
spectively ; in every part simply, in the whole tediously presumed 
under correction. 

I write only at idle hours, that I dedicate only to Idle Hours; 
or would not have made so unreasonably bold, in no needfuller dis- 
course, than the praise or Supererogation of an Ass. 

This 21th of April, 1593. 

Your mindful debtor, 

G. H. 




GOOD M. Doctor Harvey, promise I account debt, especially 
to so especial a friend ; and therefore I have now again laboured to 
discharge myself of it. I would I were of desert to set forth your 
long deserved praise, and of ability to express your singular abilities 
in style, knowledge, and other most commendable virtues. What 
is in my power, the least of your friends shall command ; what is 
not, I can but wish ; which I would most earnestly wish, if that 
might serve, though I never should wish more. I will not trouble 
your graver studies, but pray for your health's continuance; and 
will most willingly perform more, if occasion serve. 

Yours ever to command, 


Oxford, this 10th of July, 1593. 


DEFAM'D by one who most himself defameth, 
Write, worthy Harvey, for the wise applaud thee 
Shame be his hire, that foully himself shameth, 

And would of thy deserved right defraud thee. 


And if you force the undeserved wrong 1 

Wherewith some simple Ignorant distains thee, 
You in your Wisdom may exceed as long 

As he in folly foolishly disdains thee : 

For sharp-eyed Equity hath descried to all 
Th' injurious vein, that sets his pen to school ; 
Whose railing tends unto your Wisdom's fall, 

And proves all fond, to prove himself a Fool. 
Which monstrous Folly would be left in haste, 
As Wisdom's age will make him know at last. 


Inclosed in the same Letter. 

AND that I might not be held last in remembrance, though 
absent, that in your presence have sought the self-proffering cause 
of after memory, I have once more (as he that devoteth himself and 
his poor labours to your good liking), how badly you may see, but 
how heartily, I would you could see, or I could say, writ these my 
pure devotions, and zealous lines; with as true desire to honour 
yourself according to your worth, as I have been wanting the desert 
which your courteous nature hath afforded me. I request, Sir, but 
your acceptance and your favour, which if I gain, I have got more 
than my due : and so wishing your continual bliss, I end, as one 
with oft prayers desiring to be held 

Your bound by much desert, 




PROCEED, most worthy lines, in your disdain 

Against the false Suggestions you abuse ; 

Whose rascal style deserved hath to gain 

The hateful title of a railing Muse. 
Doubtless, the wisest that shall chance to read you 

In true judicial of a quiet thought, 

Will give applause unto the wit that bred you, 

And you shall win the good that you have sought. 
Win more : and since the fool defames you still, 

The fool whom Shame hath stained with foul blot, 

Perform on him your discontented will : 

Fame shall be your meed : Shame shall be his lot. 
And so proceeding, you shall so redeem 

The name that he would drown in black esteem. 

Subscribed Sh. Wy. for Shore's Wife. 

Sur I'Apologie de Monsieur le tres-docte et tres-eloquent Docteur 
Harvey: par le Sieur de Fregeuille du Gaut. 

CELUI qui provoque public sa defence, 
Peut avecques raison sa cause deployer ; 
La Loi de Talion ne peut moins, qu' ottroyer 
Juste permission de repayer 1'offence. 

Mais celui qui enfle, a escrire commence, 
A deffamer autruy, tachant a s'employer : 
De droit ne peut pretendre adueu ou bon loyer, 
Ainsi rinflame intente lui vient pour recompense. 

F F 


J'aime pourtant par tout un stile modere, 
Mesmes si on respond ail sot dqinesure, 
Car on n'a point raison d'imiter sa sottise. 

Marri sui mon d'Harvey de te voir prouoque, 
Mais tres-aise qu' est ant indignement pique ; 
Ta Docte response est eloquente et rassise. 

His Sonnet that will justify his word, and dedicateth N ash's S. Fame 

to Immortality. 

" A DAME more sweetly brave than nicely fine, 
Yet fine, as finest gentlewomen be ; 
Brighter than diamond in every line, 
Is Penniless so witless still?" quoth she. 
If Nash will felly gnash, and rudely slash; 
Snip-snap a crash, may lend S. Fame a gash. 

Skill read thy Rhyme, and put it in Truth's purse ; 
(Experience kisseth Reconcilement's hand) ; 
If warning peace be scorn'd, Spite may hear worse : 
Though Love no warrior be, Right leads a band. 
How fain would Courtesy these jars surcease ? 
How glad would Charity depart in peace? 

But if Sir Rash continue still Sir Swash, 
He lives that will him dash, and lash, and squash. 
Hcec quoque culpa tua est: luce quoque pcena tua est. 


Another occasional Admonition. 

FAME rous'd herself, and 'gan to swash about ; 

Boys swarm'd, youths throng'd, bloods swore, brutes reared 

the howt ; 

Her meritorious work, a wonderclout ; 
Did ever Fame so bravely play the lout? 
I chanc'd upon the rhyme, and wond'red much, 
What courage of the world, or Mister wight, 
Durst terrible S. Fame so rashly touch, 

Or her redoubtable bull-begging knight. 
Incontinent I heard a piercing voice, 
Not Echo's voice, but shriller than a lark ; 
Sith Destiny allots no wiser choice, 
Pastime oppose the pickle-herring Clarke. 
Quiet thy rage, imperious Swish-swash, 
Or woe be to thy horrible trish-trash. 
Est bene, non potuit dicere : dixit, Erit. 

An Apostrophe to the Health of his abused Friends. 

LIVE, Father sweet, and miscreant varlets die, 
That wrong my parent heart and brother eye ; 
Dearest of eyes, contemn thy caitiff foes ; 
Kindest of hearts, enjoy thy firm repose. 
Sky, with a patron eye aspect that eye ; 
That eye espoused to the virgin sky. 
Art, with a lover heart preserve that heart ; 
That heart devoted to the heavenly art. 


Blessings, descend from your empyreal throne, 
And lend a bounteous ear to suppliant moan. 
Ambrosial springs of clearest influence, 
Fountains restorative of cordial bliss, 
Deign zeal prostrate your tenderest indulgence, 
And sovereignly redress that is amiss. 


Volumes of thanks and praise your store combine, 
In passionatest hymns and psalms divine. 

The Printer's Postscript. 

SWEET gentlemen, having committed the premises to the 
press, and acquainting certain learned and fine men with some 
other of the commendatory Letters and Sonnets of M. Florius and 
M. Chewt; there was such an especial liking conceived of two 
other their writings, that I was finally entreated, or rather over- 
treated, to give them also their welcome in print, as not the unfittest 
lines that have been published to entertain lazy hours, or to employ 
drowsy eyes. Sometime in the bravest shows there is little per- 
formed ; and sometime a poor publican may work as great a work of 
Supererogation, as a proud Pharisee. I am not the meetest to blaze 
other men's arms ; and they are best furnished to be their own 
tongues, that can so well plead for themselves and their friends. I 
can but recommend their learned exercise, and mine own unlearned 
labour, to your gentle acceptation. 


To the right worshipful, my very assured friend, 
M. Doctor Harvey. 

MY silence thus long, good M. Doctor Harvey, was not occa- 
sioned either by forgetfulness or by negligence ; but rather for want 
both of convenient leisure and of sufficient argument: being very 
unwilling to spend time often in writing of unmaterial lines, or to 
trouble any especial friend with reading them. Yet, because amity 
is maintained by this loving kind of intercourse, and because cus- 
tom hath allowed that affection induced, to express a careful me- 
mory of the continuance of friendship, by writing even upon small 
or no occasion, though the Letter were signed with nothing else 
but si vales bene est, ego valeo : lest longer silence might cause me 
to incur just reprehension, and that you may receive some slender 
token of my often thinking on you, I send you inclosed three 
Stanzas, though simple in conceit or other regard, yet were they 
equal to my good will they would undoubtedly excel, and should 
be some way suitable to your right excellent gifts. If they please, 
or not displease you, and may seem worthy, or not altogether un- 
worthy to serve as foils with my other Sonnets, which you received 
before, to those much worthier verses which you have of much 
happier poets than myself, you may therein do your pleasure, 
whereto only they are consecrated. Thus, hoping that you are 
persuaded of me as of one affectionately your own to use, and 
command at your appointment, I leave you with my most hearty 
and humble recommendations. 
Oxford, the 3d of August, 1593. 

Yours, always at command, 




AMONG the Greeks, sweet Homer's copious verse 
Foregoing times to Fame's swift wings commended : 
The Latins Virgil's noble work rehearse ; 
Nor yet in these were ancient praises ended. 

Demosthenes' rich style through Greece was blazed, 
And Tully's forcing tongue made Rome amazed : 

Our modern age, to equal with the passed, 

The Italian pleasing Muse hath done her best : 
The learned French pens have themselves surpassed ; 
And worthy English wits have banish'd rest. 

'Midst whom, who not emblazon Harvey's name, 

Wrong him, themselves, and England's growing fame. 

Yielding, fond Nash, thy glory shalt not stain, 
But rather shalt increase thy praise hereby : 
Thy friends shall know thy judgment not so vain, 
But thou discerns where true desert doth fly. 

And thy desert by so much shall seem greater, 

By how much thou art known to know thy better. 



SUCH a pathetical Ass have I found decyphered in your 
learned and witty discourse of that poor creature, as I know will 
prove the eternal memorative of one M. Nash. Yet I by expe- 
rience have found more : that it is the nature of a true Ass, (to which 
Ass peradventure this was dedicated) that a green fig being hand- 
somely tied to his chops, he no sooner smelleth it but he follows 


his nose so far that he 'scapeth fair in uneven ground if he breaketh 
not his neck. And this note I would not but impart unto you, as 
a Caveat worthy to be remembered amongst other secrets of that 
beast. For doubtless your philosophical Ass will make Alchymy 
upon it. I pray you dispose of it at your best pleasure. When 
any other such memorandum fortunes into my hand you shall see it ; 
and so in haste, recommending you to your better studies, I rest, 

At your service, 



So long the Rhenish fury of thy brain, 

Incens'd with hot fume of a Stilliard Clime, 
Loud-lying Nash, in liquid terms did rain, 
Full of absurdities, and of sland'rous rhyme. 

So much thy pot-jests in a Tapster humour, 

(For that's the quintessence of thy Newgate fashion) 
Thy toss-pot majesty, and thy Fame did rumour, 
In wond'rous agonies of an Ale-house passion. 

So well thy wide-mouth'd, or thy oyster-whore phrase 
(Yet Gentry brags her of thy lousy degree) 
Aptly have known thine Armory to blaze 
In terms peculiar unto none but thee. 

So soon five-pennyworth of thy grosser wit 
(Yet thou art witty, as a wood-cock would be) 
More than authentical, hath learn'd to get 
Thy Muse entitled as it truly should be. 


And now so neatly hath thy railing merit 

(I should have said Ram-alley meditations) 

Procured applause unto thy claret spirit, 

And sack-sopt miseries of thy Confutations. 
That now each Ivy-Bush weeps her tears in Ale ; 

The fish-wives' Commonwealth, alack, forlorn, 

Mourns in small drink, sharp, single, sour, and stale : 

And thy long-booted gentry, ragged and torn, 
Wails new petitions to the Devil's good grace : 

Although the last, God knows, got little meed. 

But thou'lt to Hell, when shifts can have no place, 

Perhaps to Hanging too, when time shall need. 
Yet first wilt ride, rail, rhyme me down to Hell : 

(O, but beware ! strange bugs at such a game) : 

I have a trick, to teach a Goose to spell 

Himself an Ass, out of his Ass's name. 

AN. CH. 


From the Private Press of 

Printed by T. DAV1SON, Whitefriars, London. 




Page 1. BARNABE BARNES was a younger son of Richard Barnes, Bishop of Dur- 
ham, and author of A Divine Century of Spiritual Sonnets, 1595, and of Parthenophil and 
Parthenope, &c. He was a student of Brasen-nose College, Oxford, but left the university 
without a degree. Wood's Ath. I. 350. 

Ibid. JOHN THORIUS was son of John Thorius, Doctor of Physic, and born in 
London ; entered of Christ Church, Oxford, 1 586, aged about 18. " He was," says Wood, 
" well skilled in certain tongues, and a noted poet of his time." He published a Spanish 
Dictionary, 1590, 4<o. added to his translation of Antli. de Corro's Spanish Grammar. He 
also translated from Spanish into English a book called The Councellor, 1589, 4to. and 
another called The Serjeant Major, 1590, 4to. See Wood's Ath. I. 273. 

Ibid. ANTHONY CHUTE, a writer, of whose history nothing is known. He was the 
author of Beard ie dishonoured, written under the title of Shore's Wife, 1593, 4to. which 
Harvey says " has eternized him," (see p. 9 ;) (but Churchyard complains that " he had been 
robbed of the fame of a poem so called ;") and, according to Nash, wrote Procris and 
Cephalus. On the same authority he was " dead and rotten" in 15Q6. See Ritson's Bibl. 
Pocl. 170. 

Page 9. JOHN DOVE, a noted preacher, of Christ Church, Oxford, 1580, aged 18, 
proceeded in divinity 1596, being at that time well beneficed, if not dignified. He died 
1 6 1 8. See Wood's Ath. I. 432. 

Ibid. " CLAP.ENTIUS." This was before the time of the celebrated Camden, who 
was not appointed Clarencieux, King of Arms, till Oct. 23, 1597. 

Page 16. Of SIR PHILIP SYDNEY it is unnecessary to give any particulars. 

Jbid. THOMAS HATCHER, son of Doctor Hatcher, Royal Professor of Physic in the 
University of Cambridge, educated at Eton, and thence elected Fellow of King's College, 

G G 

226 NOTES. 

Cambridge, about 1.5.55. He then studied the law in Gray's Inn, and afterwards applied 
to the study of medicine. He was eminent as an antiquary, and compiled a List of the 
Provosts, Fellows, and Scholars of King's College, from its foundation. He collected 
and published the Orations, Epistles, and Poems of Walter tladdon. Loud. 1561, Mo. &c. 
He died in Lincolnshire. See Tanner's Bibl. 3 81-, Biogr. Diet. xvii. 223, and Harwood's 
Alumn Eton. 

Page 16. WILLIAM LEWIN, L.L. D. of Christ's College, Cambridge, was one of the 
ordinary Masters of the High Court of Chancery, Judge of the Prerogative Court of Can- 
terbury, Chancellor of Rochester, Commissary of the Faculties, and one of her Majesty's 
High Commissioners for Causes Ecclesiastical. He died 15th April, 1598, and was buried 
at Shoreditch. A superb cenotaph to his memory was erected in the church of Otterden, 
in Kent, of which parish he enjoyed the principal seat, which descended to his son, Sir 
Justinian Lewin, Knight, who died there 1620, leaving an only daughter and heir, Eliza- 
beth, who carried it in marriage to Richard Rogers, of Brianston, in Dorsetshire, Esq. 
Gabriel Harvey dedicates his Ciceronianus " Gulielmo Levino, Doctor! Jureconsulto, et 
Oratori Praestautissimo." See Restitnta, iii. 349. 

Page 17. THOMAS WILSON, L.L. D. a Lincolnshire man; scholar of King's College, 
Cambridge, in 1541; tutor to Henry and Charles Brandon, Dukes of Suffolk; afterwards 
ordinary Master of the Requests, Master of St. Catharine's Hospital, near the Tower ; am- 
bassador several times from Queen Elizabeth to Mary, Queen of Scots, and into the Low 
Countries in 1577; and in 1579 Dean of Durham. He was famous, while Secretary, for 
quick dispatch and industry, for constant diligence, and a large and strong memory. He died 
1581. His most celebrated work is The Jrl of Rhetoric, 1553, 1560, 1567, &c. He left 
male descendants at Sheepwash, in Lincolnshire, by his wife Anne, daughter of Sir William 
Winter, Knight. 

Page 30. SIR THOMAS MORE, a name that requires no elucidation. 

Page 32. THOMAS HARDING, born at Beconton, in Devonshire, educated at New 
College, Oxford, A.M. 154>2, made Hebrew Professor by King Hen. VIII. became a 
protestant under King Edw. VI. wheeled about again with Queen Mary, and was made 
treasurer of the church of Salisbury; was deprived by Queen Elizabeth, and flying beyond 
sea to Louvain, became a noted controversialist in his Answers to Bishop Jewell, &c. He 
died at Louvain, aet. 60, in 1572. See Wood's Ath. I. 175. 

Ibid. JOHN JEWELL, one of the greatest lights the Reformed Church of England 
has produced, born at Buden, in Devonshire, in 1522; sent to Oxford 1535; fled during 
Queen Mary's reign, and the year after her death was made BISHOP OF SALISBURY, being 
about that time appointed one of the Protestant divines to encounter those of the Romish 
persuasion, when Queen Elizabeth was about to settle a reformation in the Church of Eng- 

NOTES. 227 

land. He died at Monkton Farley, in 1571. His most famous work is his Apologia 
Ecclesia Anglicante, Land. 1562, 8ro. But see a long list of his writings in Wood and 
Tanner, &c. 

Page 17- WALTER HADDON, President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and L. L.D. 
at Cambridge; educated at Eton, scholar of King's College, Cambridge, 1533, King's Pro- 
fessor of Civil Law there, and much esteemed for his eloquence and learning. Queen 
Elizabeth made him Master of her Requests, and employed him in one or several embassies. 
He died 21st Jan. 1571, leaving behind him the character of Orator dulcis etfacundus. 
See the titles of his works in Wood, Tanner, &c. His Poemata, 1567, 4o, were collected 
by Thomas Hatcher, already mentioned. 

Ibid. BALDWIN. There was a Francis Baldwin, L. L. D. Public Reader at 

Bourges, whom Wood (I. '218,) calls an "ill-natured, troublesome, and turbulent man;" 
but whether the person here meant I know not. 

Ibid. WALTER TRAVERS, A. M. of Cambridge, was educated at Trinity College, 
and afterwards travelled to Geneva, where he became acquainted with Beza ; and at his re- 
turn took the degree of B.D. Soon after he went to Antwerp, and was ordained minister 
there in the Presbyterian way, and returning became lecturer in the Temple, while Richard 
Hooker was master, when he took the opportunity to engage in a celebrated controversy with 
that great man. Fuller termed him " the neck," as he termed Cartwright "the head, of the 
Presbyterian party." In 1594 Dr. Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin, made him Provost 
of Trinity College there. See Wood's F. I. 1 14, Walton's Life of Hooker by Zouch, 4to. 
p. 254. 

Ibid. DR. MATTHEW SCTCLIFFE was author of An Answer to Cartwright, the 
puritan, 1592, (see Restituta, I. 465) ; a Treatise of Ecclesiastical Discipline, 1591, &c. &c. 
See Catalogue of the Library of Brit. Mus. 

Ibid. WILLIAM WHITAKER, B.D. a celebrated divine for learning and life, born at 
Holme, in Burnley, in Lancashire. Becoming famous for theology, he was made King's 
Professor in that faculty, and stood up in defence of the Protestant religion and church 
against Edmund Campion, Nicholas Saunders, William Rainolds, Robert Bellarmine, 
Thomas Stapleton, &c. He died 1595, aged 47. His works are printed in Latin, in 2 vols. 
fol. at Geneva, 1610. See Wood's F. I. 118, Tanner, &c. 

Ibid. RICHARDBANCHOFT, Archbishopof Canterbury, born 1544, educated at Christ's 
College, Cambridge. About 1592 he distinguished his zeal for the Church of England by 
a learned and argumentative sermon against the ambition of the Puritans : made Bishop of 
London 1597, and appointed Archbishop of Canterbury on the death of Whitgift, 1604. 
In his famous sermon against the Puritans there is a clearness, freedom, and manliness of 

228 NOTES. 

style which shew him to have been a great master of composition. Chalmers's Biogr. Diet, 
iii. 408. 

Page 33. SIR JOHN CHEEKE died 1557, and was buried in the church of St. Alban, 
Wood-street, London. On his monument there were the two first verses, 

Doctrinae Checus, Linguaeque utriusque magister, 
Aurea naturae fabrica morte jacet. 

Ibid. ROGER ASCHAM, born 1515, died 1568. 

Page 38. WILLIAM ELDERTON, the Ballad-maker. About 1568 he was an attorney 
in the Sheriff's Court, London, and afterwards master of a company of comedians. See 
Ritson's Bibl Poet. 

Ibid. GEORGE GASCOIGNE, a celebrated poet, died 1577. 

Ibid. RAPHAEL HOLINSHED, the historian, A. B. of Cambridge, 1544, died 1580, 
in the house of the Burdet family, at Bramcot, in Warwickshire. 

occurs in Wood, Tanner, or other collections of biography. 

PageS'j. THOMAS WATSON, a poet, author of Hecatompathia, or passionate Cen- 
tury of Love, a collection of short poems in 16 lines, improperly called sonnets. Several 
of his verses are in the miscellanies of those days. He died before 1596. See Ritson, 8cc. 

Ibid. DANIEL ROGERS, an accomplished gentleman of his time, son of John Rogers, 
son of another John, of Derytend, in the parish of Aston, Co. Warwick, became one 
of the clerks of the council to Queen Elizabeth, was often employed by her in embassies, 
as into the Netherlands, 1577, and to Denmark, 1588. He died in Feb. 1590. Wood 
says, " he was a very good man, excellently well learned, a good Latin poet, and particu- 
larly beloved by the famous Camden." He was author of several Latin odes, epigrams, &c. 
Wood's Ath. I. 246. 

Ibid. DR. GRIFFIN FLOYD, the Queen's Professor of Law at Oxford, does not ap- 
pear to have been a writer. He was afterwards King's Professor of Civil Law, and 
Chancellor to the Bishop of Oxford. He died 1586. 

Jbid. DR. PETER BARO, a learned and worthy divine, was born at Estampes, in 
France, and fled to England for his religion ; succeeded Dr. Still in the Margaret Profes- 
sorship, at Cambridge, in which office he was involved in controversies with the Calvinists 
and Puritans. About 1596 he was removed from his professorship by the means of Arch- 
bishop Whitgift, and retiring to London, died there in Crutched Friars, and was buried in 
the church of St. Olave, Hart-street. A list of his writings may be seen in Wood, F. 
I. 114. 

NOTES. 229 

Page 55. DR. BARTHOLOMEW CLARKE was scholar of King's College, Cambridge, 
1554, afterwards Proctor of that university, Dean of the Arches, and a wise and eloquent 
man. He wrote De Curiali sive Aulico. Land. 1571, 8vo. being at this time patronized, 
by Lord Buckhurst; and afterwards an Answer to Nicholas Saunders, 1573, in Latin. 
Wood's F. I. 109. 

Ibid. SIR THOMAS SMITH, of Saffron Walden, in Essex, the celebrated author of 
The Commonwealth of England. Loud. 1583, 4to. Sic. &c. He died 1517. He was 
the patron and relation of Gabriel Harvey. See Resliluta, iii. 351. 

2 bid. Si ii WALTCR MILDMAY, founder of Emanuel College, Cambridge, died 1585. 
See Dyer's History of Cambridge, II. 34>7. 

2bid. The Lord Bishop of Rochester was at that time John Young. 

Ibid. Lord Treasurer, LORD BUP.LEIGH. 

Ibid. The Earl of Leicester was ROBERT DUDLEY. 

Page 62. GEORGE TORBERVILLE, a poet. He translated The Epistles of Ovid, 
1567. See Chalmers's Poets. 

Ji)id. THOMAS DRANT, Archdeacon of Lewes, translated Horace's Satires, &c. See 
Jfitson's B. P. and Restituta, vol. 1. 

Ibid. RICHARD TARLTON, a celebrated comedian and buffoon. See Ritson's B.P. 

Page 63. RICHARD HAKLUYT, of Eyton, Co. Hereford, Esq. His Collection of 
Voyages is well known, and has been lately reprinted by Mr. Evans. 

Ibid. Of WILLIAM BORROUGHS I am unable to give any account. 

Page 64. SIR ROGER WILLIAMS wrote The Actions of the Low Countries, and A 
Brief Discourse of War. Loud. 1590, 4to. He died 1595. He was an eminent com- 
mander in the Netherlands under Duke D'Alva. See Wood's Ath. I. 281, and Restituta, 
vol. I. 

Page 65. THOMAS DIGGES, Esq. son of Leonard Digges, Esq. of Wootton Court, 
near Canterbury. Both father and son were very eminent mathematicians. The latter 
died in 15Q5, and was buritd in the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London, 
having sold his lordship of Wootton. His eldest son was the celebrated Sir Dudley Digges, 
of Chilham Castle. 

Ibid. MR. JOHN AsTELEY,of the Court, Master of the Jewel Office. He was seated 
at the palace at Maidstoue, and lies buried in the church there. His second wife was Mar- 
garet Grey. See the Wizard, a Kentish Tale, in Censura Literaria. His son Sir John 
Astelev, of the same place, was Master of the Revels, and died 1639, having married 
Katharine, daughter of Anthony Brydges, brother to Edmund, Lord Chandos. The book 
on horsemanship is mentioned by Tanner by the title of The Art of Riding. Lend. 1584, 
4to. But it is so rare that I never met with any one who had seen the book. He has an 

230 NOTES. 

Epistle to Roger Ascham prefixed to his book on German Affairs, dated from Hatrield, 
19th Oct. 1552. He died 28th Feb. 30th Eliz. See Tanner, p. 54. 

Page 65. THOMAS BLUNDEVILLE, lived at Newton Flotman, in Norfolk. He 
wrote The true Order and Method of writing and reading histories, 1574; and translated 
from the Spanish Of Counsels and Counsellors, 1570. He also wrote A Description of 
Universal Maps and Cards, 1584, and edited Dr. Gilbert's Invent ionein, ope solis, lunee et 
stellarum latitudinem inveniendi mari, 1602, 4(o. But Tanner does not mention his Book 
on Horsemanship. 

Ibid. Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia. This is a curious character of that celebrated 

Page 67. K. JAMES I. The passages that here occur regarding the poetry of this 
royal pedant are well worthy of notice. 

Page 75. CHRISTOPHER MARLOW, a well known poet, died 1,098. 

Page 81. JOHN LILLY, born in the Weald of Kent, about 1553; educated both at 
Oxford and Cambridge ; was living 1597. In his book called Ettphues, 1 580, he pretended 
to reform the. English language, and to write and talk like him, which became fashionable, 
was called Euphuism. He was author of the famous pamphlet against Martin Mar-prelate, 
called Pap with a Hatchet, about 1589. 

Page 85. " Dranting of verses and Euphuing of sentences." The former relates to 
Thomas Drant, the translator of Horace. 

Page 86. " Scoggin, Skelton, Elderton, and Will. Summer" well known jesters and 

Page 91. M. MELVIN. Could this be Sir James Melville, the Scotch statesman and 
historian, who died 1606 ? 

Ibid. M. CARTVVRIGHT, a celebrated puritan divine, and leader of his sect. 

Page 97. JOHN PENRY, called Martin Mar-Prelate, the pest of the prelates, born 
in Brecknockshire: A. B. at Cambridge 1583: hanged at Stepney for sedition, 29th May, 

Hid. HENRY BARROW, a leader of the Brownists, ended his life at Tyburn, 6th 
April, 1593. 

Page 102. DR. LAWKENCE HUMPHRY, of Oxford, A. M. 1552, a celebrated non- 
conformist, and voluminous writer in theological controversy, a great and general scholar, 
an able linguist, a deep divine, died 1589, aged 63. See Wood's Ath. I. 242. 

Jbid. DR. WILLIAM FULKE, a Londoner, Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, 
died Margaret Professor, 1589. See Tanner, 301, and Wood's F. I. 96. 

Page 106. ROBERT BROWN, founder of a sect of Puritans, who took their name 
from him, died in prison 1630, aet. 80. See Walton's Life of Hooker, by Zouch, 297. 

NOTES. 231 

Page 106. " KETT, and his Sectaries, a similar leader of schisms." 

Ibid. Of DAVID GORGE no account occurs to the editor's recollection. His character 
may be guessed by his company. 

Page 109. KNOX, the Scotch reformer. 

Ibid. DUDLEY FEN NEK, a noted puritan divine, died at Middleburh, in Zealand, 
1589. He was of a good Kentish family. See Tanner's Bibl. 277. 

Page 110. Ascham, Watson, Sir John Cheeke, and Sir Thomas Smith, here praised, 
have been already mentioned. 

Page 1 12. EDWAV: r> DEUING, a native of Kent, A. B. of Christ's College, Cambridge, 
1568, rector of Pluckley, Kent, 1569, adhered to the Non-conformists, died 1576. See 
Tanner, and Fuller's Abel Redivivus. 

Page 124. ROGER KELKE, B. D. archdeacon of Stowe, 1563. 

Page 126. GRAFTON, STOWE, and HOLINSHEAD, well known historians. 

Page 134. JOHN UD ALL, a celebrated Puritan, minister of Kingston on Thames, died 
in prison about 1588. See Tanner. 

Ibid. JOHN GREENWOOD, a preacher of the Brownists, hanged with Barrow at 
Tyburn, 6th April, 1593. Tanner. 

Ibid. DR. CHAPMAN. Qu. Dr. Edw. Chapman, B. D. of Cambridge ? 

Page 139. " Worshipful Clerks of the Whetstone, Dr. Clare, Dr. Bourne, M. Scog- 
gin, M. Skelton, M. diverse iate historiolo^ers." There was a WILLIAM BOURNE, an 
almanac-maker and mathematician, 1567, 1588. See Tanner. 

Ibid. PARSON DAUCYE and WAKEFIELD seem by Harvey's context to have been of 
Elderton's class. 

Page 159. RICHARD CLARKE, a jester, as seems by the context. 

Page 160. LORD CROMWELL (afterwards Earl of Essex), and SIR CHRISTOPHER 
HATTON, characters well known in English history. 

Page 165. Greene's Arcadia is here spoken of with contempt, as opposed to Sydney's ; 
being called " its very funeral." 

Page 161. THOMAS TussERVFzVe Hundred PointsofGood Husbandry underwent 
many editions, and has been lately again edited by Dr. Mavor. Tusser died in 1580. 

Page 171. " Kind Heart." Does this relate to Henry Chettle's Kind Hart's Dreamt 

Page 173, I. 3. We have here Harvey's Roll of Fame: Chaucer and Spenser ; More 
and Cheeke; Ascham and Asteley; Sydney and Dyer; with the Countess of Pembroke. 
These testimonies of pre-eminence uttered by a contemporary are curious and valuable. 

Page 18'2. THOMAS DELONE, PHILIP STUBS, ROBERT ARMIN, are here called 
" the common pamphleteers of London." Nash calls Delone " the balleting silk-weaver." 
See Ritson's B. P. 

.232 NOTES. 

Philip Stubs was author of The Anatomy of Abuses, 1583. He was a Calvinist, and 
a bitter enemy to popery, and though not in sacred orders, yet the books he wrote related 
to divinity and morality. John Stubs, of Lincoln's Inn, author of The Discovery of the 
Gaping Gulph, levelled at Queen Elizabeth's proposed marriage with the Duke of Anjou ; 
for which pamphlet the author had his right hand cut off, was his near relation, if not father 
or brother. This John Stubs married the sister of Thomas Cartwright, the puritan divine, 
already mentioned. See Wood's Alh- I. 282. 

Robert Armin was a player, living 1611. He sometimes performed the fool, or clown, 
in Shakespeare's plays. He wrote two plays. See Biogr. Dram. 

Page 187. Humphry Cole, Matthew Baker, John Shute, Robert Norman, William 
Bourne, John Hester, are here named as the scientific artists of the age. 

Page 188. This page and the next are particularly interesting for the long list of authors 
that they contain, with the separate merits ascribed to each. 

Grafton, Holinshead, and Stowe, the historians, have been already named. The poetical 
bibliographer will be pleased with this array of poets : viz. 

1. JOHN HEY WOOD, the epigrammatist, died 1565. 


3. BARN ABE GOOGE, a celebrated translator. 


5. THOMAS CHURCHYARD, a voluminous versifier, died 1604. 

6. FLOIDE. I presume Lodovick Lloyd, Serjeant at Arms to Queen Elizabeth. 

I. BARNABE RICHE, a fertile writer of pamphlets, but whose poetry is little known. 
See Preface to New Edit, of England's Helicon. 

8. GEORGE WHETSTONE, a writer of Emblems, &c. See Ritaon's B. P. 

9. ANTHONY MUNDY, author of The Banquet of Conceits, 8cc. Sec. died 1633, 
aged 80. 

10. RICHARD STANYHXJRST, the absurd and pedantical translator of Virgil's JEneis, 
1583, died at Brussels 1618. 

II. ABRAHAM FRAUNCE, author of The Countess of Pembroke's Yvichurch, 1591, &c. 

12. THOMAS WATSON, already named. 

13. MAURICE KYFFIN wrote The Blessedness of Brytaine, 1588. 

r 14. SAMUEL DANIEL, died 1619. He is included among Chalmers's Poets. 

15. WILLIAM WARNER, author of Albion's England, 1586, died 1608. 

Of these the preference is given to France, Kyffin, Warner, and Daniel. 

Ibid. THOMAS HERRIOT, born at Oxford, 1360; an eminent mathematician, and 
friend of Sir Walter Raleigh, with whom he went to Virginia, died 1 62 1 . See Wood's Ath. 
I. 459. 


Page 188. JOHN DEE, a celebrated mathematician, and great enthusiast, who with 
the vulgar obtained the character of a conjuror, died 1608, aged 80. See a full life of him 
in Biogr. Diet. xi. 378. 

Ibid. REYNOLDS. This was too early for John Reynolds, the epigrammatist, whose 
Latin Epigrams were first printed 1611. There was, before, a Dr. Reynolds, of Christ's 
College, Cambridge. 

Ibid. STUBBES, probably Philip S. already mentioned. 

Ibid. RICHARD MULCASTER, first of Cambridge, afterwards of Oxford, and then 
Master of St. Paul's School, a celebrated scholar, died 1611. See Wood's Ath. I. 369. 

Ibid. NORTON. Thomas Norton was the celebrated coadjutor of Lord 

Buckhurst, author of Gorboduc, Sec. 

Ibid. LAMBERT. Qu. William Lambert, the Kentish antiquary and topographer? 

Ibid. LORD HENRY HOWARD, afterwards Earl of Northampton, a pedantic pretender 
to genius and learning. 

Ibid. ROBERT SOUTHWELL, a poet, was the author of Mary Magdalen's Funeral 
Tears. See Part III. of Archaica. 

Ibid. REGINALD SCOTT, the author of The Discovery of Witchcraft, was of the 
family of Scott, of Scott's Hall, in Kent. He died at Smeeth, in Kent, in 1599. 


Page 189. DR. WHITGIFT, Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Ibid. DR. HUTTON. Dr. Leonard Hutton, an eminent scholar and divine, vicar of 
Flower, in Northamptonshire, died 1632, aged 75. His daughter married Bishop Corbet, 
the poet. Wood's Ath. I. 570. 

Ibid. DR. YOUNG, probably the same who was Bishop of Rochester. 

Ibid. DR. LAWRENCE CHADDERTON, a calvinistic disputant. 

Ibid. M. CURTES. Dr. Richard Curteis, a Lincolnshire man, was elected Bishop of 
Chichester, 1568. Qu. ? 

Ibid. M. WICKAM. William Wickham was made Bishop of Winchester 1594, and 
died 1595. Qu.? 

Ibid. M. DRANT, the poet and divine, has been already mentioned, as has 

Ibid. M. DERING. 

Ibid. DR. STILL, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, elected Bishop of Bath and 
Wells 1590, died 1607. 

Ibid. DR. JOHN UNDERBILL, elected Bishop of Oxford 1589, died 1592. 

Ibid. DR.TOBIE MATTHEW was a native of Bristol, about 1 546 ; educated at Oxford ; 
elected Public Orator there 1569; obtained the character of Theologus Prastantissimus ; 
and in 1595 was made Bishop of Durham. He died 1628. See Wood's Ath. L 730. 

H H 

2134 NOTES. 

Page 189. Of M. LAWHERNE I know nothing. 

V, Ibid. M. DOVE, born 1562, educated at Westminster and Christ's Church, died 1618. 
See Wood's Ath. I. 432. 

Ibid. M. ANDREWS. Dr. Lancelot Andrews was made Prebendary of Westminster 
1597, then Dean 1601, and soon after Bishop of Chichester, and translated first to Ely, and 
lastly to Winchester in 1618. He died 1626. He was the most eminent divine of our 
nation in his time. See Wood's F. I. 122. 

Ibid. M. CHADERTON has been already mentioned. 

Ibid. M. SMITH. The name is so common that it is difficult to identify the person 
alluded to by this general designation. 

Ibid. DR. THOMAS COOPER, a native of Oxford, and student there 1539 ; Bishop of . 
Lincoln 1570; translated to Winchester 1584; died 1594. He wrote a celebrated answer 
to Martin Marprelate, who replied by a bantering book, called Ha' ye any zcork for a 
Cooper 1 ? 8cc. See Wood's Ath. I. 265. 

Ibid. DR. HUMFRY, already mentioned. 

Ibid. DR. FLETCHER. I suppose Dr. Richard Fletcher, Bishop of London, who 
died 1596. His son, John Fletcher, was the celebrated dramatic poet; and his nephews, 
Phineas and Giles Fletcher (sons of his brother Giles,), were also distinguished for their 
poetical productions. See Wood's F. I. 107. 

Page 191. DR. ANDREW PERNE. See Note at the end of the Advertisement to 
Part IV. of Archaica. Gabriel Harvey seems to have been at constant enmity with this 
divine, who was educated at Peter House, Cambridge, and in 1557 made Dean of Ely. 
He died 1589. AVood says he was a mutable man in his religion, and of a facetious nature, 
yet a great Mecaenas of literature. Wood's F. I. 80. 

Page 209. GREENE, MARLOW, CHETTLE, already mentioned, the first passim. 


From the Private Preu of 

Printed by T. DAVISON, Whitefriare, London. 







; or, &e OTtonlrertuI 








R. WOLFE, good news was ever a welcome guest 
unto me, and you do well in the current of your 
business to remember the Italian proverb, " Good 
tidings would be dispatched to ride post, as ill 
tidings may have good leave to be a footman/' 
The nimblest bee is a slow-worm in expeditions of importance or 
congratulation ; and the dullest snail the meetest ambassador to 
be employed in messages of damage or condolement. You have 
lately (as appeareth by your indices of the sickness, and so many 
other novels) very tidily played the bee's part; and so continue, as 
you love me or yourself: unto whom I wish a rich hive and many 

Since I received Parthenophil 1 , Shore's Wife*, and the Articles 
of Accord, or Truce in France, (for which I render you as many 
thanks as there be Articles), I have now also, this instant of Sep- 
tember, perused your quaint and cunning Discourse of Remon- 
strances to the Duke de Maine, with that other new-new pamphlet 
of the late Turkish assiege of Sysseck in Croatia, the old Liburnia, 

1 Parlhenophil and Parthenope, by Barnaby Barnes; printed in 1593. 

1 Beawtie dishonoured; written under the title of Shore's Wife, by Ant. Cliewt. 1.593. 

famous for serviceable ships; and take no less pleasure in the 
sound declaration of the plain German, a credible historiographer, 
than delight in the sly information of the fine French, a glicking 
remembrancer. It is not the external, but the internal form, (call 
it the pith, or the marrow, or the life-blood, or what you list) that 
edifieth ; and undoubtedly the Christian world hath pregnant cause 
to prostrate the ferventest zeal of their devotions to his Almighty 
Majesty, that hath brought France and Croatia to those terms of 
truce and triumph. A happy truce if a happy truce ; and an ho- 
nourable triumph, if durable. I say ay and if, because I have known 
many a truce like scammony, that weakeneth the liver ; or cassia, 
that enfeebleth the reins ; or agarick, that overthroweth the sto- 
mach ; the stomach that must work the feat. And who hath not, 
either by experience, or by hear-say, or by reading, known many 
a triumph like sena, that breedeth wind; or rhubarb, that drieth 
overmuch ; or euforbium, that inflameth the whole body ; the body, 
that must strike the stroke ? 

Take away the overthrowing or weakening property from 
truce, and truce may be a divine scammony, cassia, or agarick, to 
purge noisome and rebellious humours. Oh, that it might be such 
a purge in France ! Correct that ventosity or inflammation, that 
accompanieth triumph; and lo, the gallantest physick that nature 
hath afforded, wit devised, or magnanimity practised, to abate the 
pride of the enemy, and to redouble the courage of the friend. 
No tobacco or panacea so mightily virtuous as that physic. Oh, 
that it might be such a physic in Croatia, in Hungary, in Alinany, 
in the whole Christian world. 

Immensum calcar Gloria; the golden spur of the brave Gre- 
cian and the worthy Roman. Policy is politic, and will not easily 
be cozened with the musk of the perfumer, though musk be a 
sweet courtesan ; or allured with the sugar and honey of the cook, 
though sugar and honey be dainty hypocrites; or enveigled with 

the gold leaves of the goldsmith, though gold leaves be eloquent 
and bewitching orators ; or deluded, that is, betrayed by any co- 
lourable counterfesance, howsoever smoothly enticing or gloriously 
pretending. Private medicines are often adulterate, but public 
medicines will admit no sophistication ; and policy must be well 
advised, before it swallow down the gilded pills of flattering pre- 
text. France hath been taught to be cautelous in truce, which 
hath eftsoons sucked the sweetness of a Judas' kiss; and Croatia 
may learn to be provident in triumph, which hath often felt the 
joyfulness of a Sampsons post. Neither France can be too jealous, 
nor Croatia too pressed, nor Hungary too fierce, nor Almany too 
hardy, nor any nation too circumspect, that is beleaguered with such 
puissant and obstinate foes. The house of Guise hath long hawked 
and practised for a great crown ; the Duke de Maine hath chopped 
upon a main chance : Opportunity is a marvellous warrior ; the 
King of Spain, a mighty enemy ; the Pope, an unreconcileable ad- 
versary to a Protestant prince ; the Turk, a horrible foe to Christian 
states, and not to be daunted or dismayed with two or three petty 

Petty foils incense choler and enrage fury ; not allay courage 
or disarm power. Were not man a man in himself, and God above 
all, alas ! what security in a fallible truce? or what repose in a mo- 
mentary triumph? Yet every truce is respectively welcome; and 
every triumph a pageant of manful valour, and a jubilee of divine 
favour. For my poor part, (a single interest in so great affairs), I 
am as affectionately glad to find victory on the better side, as I have 
often been compassionately sorry, (or shall 1 say, stomachously 
angry ?) to read how piteously the Christian host hath been beaten 
by the Turkish army; a brave army, but Turkish : whose puissance 
hath long been, and still is, the dishonour of Christendom ; and 
whose empire cannot wax, according to their aspiring design, but 
Christ's kingdom must wane, according to some lamentable ex- 

Surely the Only- Wise (for whosoever is comparatively wise, He 
is absolutely wise) ordaineth all for the best ; and they perish for 
or through their own folly, that perish : Homer in humanity hath 
affirmed it, and the Bible in divinity hath confirmed it. Howbeit, 
true wisdom is valiant in adversity, and right valiancy wise in pros- 
perity ; both ever like themselves, and unlike the puffs or bubbles 
of the world, that know how to disguise or afflict, but not how to 
redress or solace themselves. Hope never despaireth, and no such 
resolution as the resolution of Faith ; a virtue of more wonderful 
improvement by thousands, than the most miraculous grain of mus- 
tard-seed, or whatsoever Nature engendereth, Art frameth, or 
Exercise achieveth most powerable. Zeal hath been, and may be 
a marvellous conqueror, even beyond the bravest confidence or 
fiercest fury ; and faith was ever the wonder of wonders, where it 
was. Christ favoureth a stout and invincible constancy in any 
good cause; and in his own cause (maugre the mainest forces or 
subtlest policies of Mahomet or the Devil) he will finally make 
them victorious with triumphs of joy and trophies of honour, that 
fight his battles with the heart of zeal and the hand of courage. 

Who honoureth not the glorious memory and the very name of 
the renowned Lepanto? the monument of Don John of Austria, the 
security of the Venetian state, the hallelujah of Christendom, and 
the Avelaway of Turkey ? Christ bless his standard-bearers with 
many Lepantos and Si/ssecks, and make his militant church an host 
triumphant ! It hath often been the meditation of one, that with 
a politic and divine analysis hath looked into the successive pro- 
ceedings and fatal overthrows of tyrannies, if Mahomet and his 
Alcoran cannot stand, but Christ and his Evangely must fall : 
when the great Turk, continually encroaching, (according to his 
grand intendiments and ambitious design,) is busiest in his hottest 
harvest of engrossing and coheaping kingdoms, arid with a most 
greedy appetite runneth headlong to devour the Christian world at 
a bit. 

Lord have mercy upon thee, oh, little, little Turk ! Pride 
may exalt his haughty presumptions, and Prowess advance his ter- 
rible bravery, but there is a God in heaven ; and they cannot laugh 
long, that make the Devil laugh and Christ weep. Meanwhile, it 
were pity Sysseck should Avant the glory of such an immortal me- 
morial as some noble and royal wits have bestowed upon the ever- 
renowned Lepanto 1 . Excellent virtue, for a due reward, deserveth 
excellent honour; and brave valour, for worthy imitation, would be 
bravely extolled ; as Orpheus glorified Jason ; Homer, Achilles j 
Virgil, Eneas ; Ariosto, Charlemagne ; Tasso, Godfrey of Bouillon; 
and so forth. Especially at such an encountering and surprising 
time, as must either flourish like the palm of the mountain, or fade 
like the lily of the valley. 

You know I am not very prodigal of my discourse with every 
one ; but 1 know unto whom I write ; and he that hath read and 
heard so many gallant Florentine discourses as you have done, may 
the better discern what is what : and he that publisheth so many 
books to the world as you do, may frame unto himself a private and 
public use of such conference. Few they are that are qualified to 
surpass or equal those singular precedents ; but they few would be 
retained with a golden fee, or entertained with silver courtesy. 
Some I know in Cambridge, some in Oxford, some in London, 
some elsewhere, dyed in the purest grain of art and exercise ; but 
a few in either, and not many in all, that undoubtedly can do ex- 
cellently well, exceedingly well. And were they thoroughly em- 
ployed according to the possibility of their learning and industry, 
who can tell what comparison this tongue might wage with the 
most flourishing languages of Europe ? or what an inestimable crop 
of most noble and sovereign fruit the hand of Art and the spirit of 
Emulation might reap in a rich and honourable field? 

1 The Lepanto was printed in the " Poeticall Exercises" of King James VI. at Edin- 
burgh, 1591 ; with a French version by the Seigneur Du Bartas. 


Is not the prose of Sir Philip Sidney, in his sweet Arcadia 1 , 
the embroidery of finest Art and daintiest Wit ? Or is not the verse 
of M. Spencer, in his brave Fairy Queen, the virginal of the divinest 
Muses and the gentlest Graces? Both delicate writers; always 
gallant, often brave, continually delectable, sometimes admirable. 
What sweeter taste of Suada than the prose of the one, or what 
pleasanter relish of the Muses than the verse of the other ? Sir 
John Cheeke's style was the honey-bee of Plato ; and M. Ascham's 
period, the syren of Isocrates. His, and his breath, the balm and 
spikenard of the delightfullest Tempe. You may guess whose metre 
I would entitle the harp of Orpheus, or the dulcimers of Sappho. 
And which of the golden rivers floweth more currently than the 
silver stream of the English 2 Ariosto ? Oh, that we had such an 
English Tasso ! and oh, that the worthy Du Bartas were so endeni- 
soned ! The sky-coloured Muse best commcndeth her own heavenly 
harmony ; and who hath sufficiently praised the hyacinthine and 
azure dye but itself? What colours of astonishing rhetoric or ravish- 
ing poetry, more deeply engrained, than some of his amazing de- 
vices ; the fine ditties of another Petrarch, or the sweet charms of 
pure enchantment? What Dia-Margariton, or Dia-Ambre, so com- 
fortative or cordial as her Electuary of Gems, (for though the furious 
tragedy Antonius be a bloody chair of estate, yet the divine Dis- 
course of Life and Deat/i is a restorative electuary of gems), whom 
I do not expressly name 3 , not because I do not honour her with my 
heart, but because I would not dishonour her with my pen, whom 
I admire and cannot blazon enough. 

Some other paragons of beautifullest eloquence, and mirrors 
of brightest wit, not so much for brevity's sake, as for like ho- 
nour's sake, I overskip ; whose only imperfection is, that they are 
touched with no imperfection. Yet Hope is a transcendent, and 

1 First printed in 1591. 2 By Sir John Haringtoii. 

* The Countess of Pembroke. See R. and N. Authors, vol. ii. last edit. 


will not easily be imprisoned or impounded in any predicament of 
ancient or modern perfection ; which it may honour with due re- 
verence, but will not serve with base homage. Excellency hath in all 
ages affected singularity; and Ambition, how impetuously buckled 
for that mastery. And albeit, Wit have a quick scent that will not 
be cozened ; and Judgment a sharp eye that cannot be bleared ; 
(the morning star of Discretion, and the evening star of Experience, 
have a deep insight in the merits of every cause) : yet still Hope 
hath reason to continue hope, and is a white angel sent from heaven, 
as well to enkindle vigorous zeal, as to awaken lazy sloth. A wan 
or windy hope is a notable break-neck unto itself; but the grounded 
and winged Hope, (which I some way perceive in a few other, no 
way conceive in myself,) is the ascending scale and milk-way to 
heavenly excellency. 

When I bethink me of any singular or important effect, 
I am presently drawn into a consideration of the cause; and 
deem it a childish vanity to dream of the end, without means. 
The prompt and pliant Nature is the dawning of the crimson 
morning ; the right Art, as fine a workman as Daedalus, and as 
nimble a planet as Mercury ; aspiring Imitation may climb high : 
how oft hath fiery Emulation won the golden spurs, and run his 
victorious race, like the shining sun in his resplendishing chariot? 
Pregnant and incessant Exercise hatcheth miracles. Practice was 
ever a curious platformer of rare and quaint theoricks ; and is it 
not still possible for Practice to devise as exquisite patterns as 
ever were invented, and even to contrive new ideas of singularity ? 
The encounter of Virtue is honourable ; and what more commend- 
able than the conflict of Art ? It is only that divine Hope, embel- 
lished with those ornaments of skill, and inspired with those bless- 
ings of heaven, that must excel itself; and advance the worthiest 
Valour that ever achieved heroical exploits, or levied Argonautical 
prizes, by land or sea. Peerless wits may hoard up the precious 



treasure of their invention, and store up the gorgeous furniture of 
their eloquence, till Prowess hath accomplished mightier wonders 
upon earth. At this present, what can admiration find, either 
more resolute for courage, or more puissant for valour, or more 
honourable for success, or more wonderful for imitation, than the 
small bands of the brave Rupertus against the Turk, or the little 
troops of the braver French king against his domestical and foreign 
enemies ? 

I might say more were the place fit ; but what written token 
shall I return for so many printed tokens ? one hand washeth an- 
other ; and it appertaineth unto him that taketh something, to give 
something. I am reasonably furnished with choice of other store 
at this instant ; but I will not accloy you at once ; and my least, 
but Newest Trifle (for that is the meetest name) shall serve in supply 
of a small requital for your greater news. I term it a trifle for the 
manner, though the matter be, in my conceit, superexcellent ; in the 
opinion of the world, most admirable; for private consideration, 
very notable ; for public use, passing memorable ; for a point or 
two, exceeding monstrous. And that is the very disgrace of the 
Sonnet, that the style nothing countervailed! the subject, but de- 
baseth a strange body with vulgar attire, and disguiseth a superla- 
tive text with a positive gloss. As it is, it is your own to dispose 
or cancel at pleasure ; and albeit the writer promise nothing (for 
promise he accounteth an obligation), yet if he fortune to surprise 
you with a sorry amends, let it not be unwelcome, that cometh in 
the name of good-will ; and such a good-will as is less afraid of the 
plague than of unthankfulness. He that is desirous with the first, 
to be continually made acquainted with your public intelligences, 
from, or of, whatsoever kingdoms or states, will have a mutual 
regard of friendly correspondence, by some return of private novels, 
or other recompense, as any his vacation yieldeth leisure, or any 
his opportunity presenteth occasion. 


Touching his present exercises, or other actions, you know 
enough, that know why the Ass sleepeth, and the Fox winketh. 
Or recal to mind our sweet table-philosophy of the fordead Libbard, 
a very gentle and silent creature ; and you need no other inkling. 
Peradvcnture, somebody may find that the roughest and awkest 
things are not so cumbersome to other, as they may prove irksome 
to themselves. There is a learned kind of fear, that preventeth 
many mischiefs ; and they are judiciously wise, (howsoever valiant, 
rich, or powerable) that dare not use other otherwise than them- 
selves would be used. Men may stand upon braving terms, and 
puff up their own swelling veins : but when Wilfulness is in the 
tide, Discretion is in the ebb. Some have repented them no less 
than four and twenty hours, in a day and a night, for one fro ward 
word. Surely a man were better shift his footing, than stand 
stiffly in his own light : and who would not rather say to his tongue, 
tongue thou art a liar; or to his pen, pen thou art a fool; than undo 
himself utterly, and shame himself everlastingly ? You might hear 
of the new Treaty or motive ; and it is not the first time that I have 
discovered a brood of wits like the famous well in Idumea, whose 
water, one quarter of the year, was as muddy as the muddiest 
kennel ; another quarter, as bloody as the bloodiest slaughter- 
house; the third, as green as the greenest grass; the fourth, as 
clear as the clearest conduit. Every exchange for the better doth 
well : and it is a good sign when puddle-waters grow clear, and 
disordered wits become tractable, if they become tractable. Have 
they not cause to doubt, that know the variable nature of that 
Syrian-well, and have seen so many dogged things return to their 
vomit ? A good bargain and a gentle offer would not be refused : 
but he that considered! the fits of April, and the pangs of Septem- 
ber, hath reason for a demurrer ; and he that hath seen as lunatic 
creatures as the moon, must be pardoned, though he suffer not 
himself to be cozened with the legerdemain of a juggling convert. 


Did I never tell you of a graver man, that wore a privy coat of 
interchangeable colours ; and for the art of revolting, or recanting, 
might read a lecture to any retrograde planet in heaven or earth ? 
Is it not possible for a wild Ass, of a fugitive and renegate dis- 
position, in such a point to resemble the tamest Fox? Or are 
not books, with unstayed readers and running heads, like unto those 
wonderous waters that, being dronk of birds, as Theophrastus re- 
porteth ; or of sheep, as Seneca writeth ; changed them from white 
to black, and from black to white ? After a stern and ruthful tra- 
gedy, solemnly acted, who deeplier plunged in sober and melancholy 
dumps, then some good fellows, that from a pleasant and Avanton 
comedy, lively played, return as merry as a cricket, and as light as 
a feather ? AVhen the sweet youth haunted Aretine and Rabelais, 
(the two monstrous wits of their languages) who so shaken with the 
furious fevers of the one, or so attainted with the French pox of 
the other? Now he hath a little mused upon the Funeral Tears of 
Mary Magdalen, and is egged on to try the suppleness of his pa- 
thetical vein, in weeping the compassionatest and divinest tears 
that ever heavenly eye rained upon earth. Jesu ! what a new work 
of Supererogation have they achieved ? Riotous Vanity was Avont 
to root so deeply, that it could hardly be unrooted; and where 
reckless Impudency taketh possession, it useth not very hastily to 
be dispossessed. I Avas saying, what say you to a spring of rankest 
villany in February, and a harvest of ripest divinity in May ? 
May they not surcease to wonder, that wonder how Machiavel can 
teach a prince to be, and not to be religious ? Another question or 
tAvo, of a sharper edge, were at my tongue's end. 

But what should Ave hereafter talk any more of paradoxes or 
impossibilities, when He, that penned the most desperate and abo- 
minable pamphlet of Strange News, and disgorged his stomach of 
as poisonous rancour as ever Avas vomited in print, Avithin few 
months is won, or charmed, or inchanted, (or what metamorphosis 


should I term it?) to astonish carnal minds with spiritual medita- 
tions upon one of the most sacred and godful arguments that the 
holiest devotion could admire, in the profoundest trance of rapt 
and seraphical zeal ? I will not stay to marvel at the miracles of 
predominant causes : the Holy Ghost is an omnipotent Spirit, that 
can mollify the flintiest mind, and breathe a soul of Heaven into a 
heart of Hell. If unfeignedly he hath stripped off the snakeVskin, 
and put on the * new man,' as he devoutly pretendeth ; let him be 
constant, and not blaspheme his most reverend Saviour with coun- 
terfeit Tears'. If he playeth at fast and loose, (as is vehemently 
suspected, by strong presumptions) whom shall he coney-catch or 
crossbite but his cast-away self, as holy as a holy-hock ? 

But, 1 thank God, I have something else to dispute : and if young 
Apuleius be not still the son of old Apuleius, and Pierce still as divine 
as a wild vine, I have said nothing; but commend the sweet art of 
relenting humanity, and embrace the good nature of a good nature, 
that sheddeth the pure Tears of Repentance. The more notorious 
the offence, and the more unsatisfiable the injury was, the more fa- 
vourable and liberal he is that, with honest terms and reasonable 
conditions, may easily be entreated to pardon the same ; that is, 
to bestow a great benefit instead of a great revenge, and to lose 
the exercise of many weeks to gain the recovery of one lost son. 
The best is, I am not yet a Fly in the cobweb of the Spider ; and, 
in a mating age, none are free from the check but kings. Or if 
kings, peradventure, find themselves somewhat shrewdly mated, 
alas! we, poor subjects, must be content to be checked; and may 
daily learn of our betters, to smother with patience that we cannot 
quench with order, and will not extinguish with disorder. 

Socrates professed nothing, and I profess less than Socrates : yet 
this I profess he that neither cockereth himself, nor loveth to be 

1 Alluding to Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, by T. Nash. See Archaica, Part VII. 


lulled or smoothed up of friends, can lightly put up the heaviest load 
of an enemy : and he can hardly be daunted Avith nipping words, 
that is not easily dismayed with pinching deeds. An unguilty mind 
knoweth not what the trembling of the heart meaneth ; and a 
sound conscience is a brazen wall against the mainest battery^ of 
spite or feud. Were there no other philosophy but experience, 
and a settled resolution to proceed according to reason in general, 
and occasion in special, every guiltless eye, that seeth any thing, 
seeth his own confirmation in the confutation of his guilty adver- 
sary; whose vain railings are sib to other vanities that cannot 
endure ; but either vanish, like smoke in the air, or melt away, like 
snow in the sun ; or grow stale, like disguised fashions ; or dissolve 
themselves into their materiam primam, that is, into vanity and 
shame. Had I found any one material article or substantial point 
against me, I must have imputed some part of the blame to myself; 
but finding nothing, in all those pestilent and virulent sheets of 
waste paper, but mere mere forgeries, and the Devil in the horologe ; 
might I not justly say, I have cause to use as I am used? or have 
I not reason to stand upon terms of consideration? Did I not 
intend to deal a bountiful alms of courtesy, who, in my case, 
would give ear to the law of oblivion, that hath the law of talion 
in his hands? or accept of a silly recantation, as it were a sorry 
plaister to a broken shin, that could knock malice on the head, and 
cut the wind-pipe of the railing throat? 

Pierces Supererogation (that was an arrow in my hand, a clog in 
your,) is least beholden to the pen-knife. Nash's S. Fame hath some- 
what more of the launcelet. The Reply of the excellent Gentlewoman 
is the fine razor, that must shave away every rank hair of his great cou- 
rage and little wit. I was long since aweary with beating the air, and 
take small pleasure in washing the Ass's head ; or what should I term 
that bootless and irksome business ? But it is that heavenly crea- 
ture (for so she will approve herself) that can conjure down the 


mouth of villany into hell-mouth ; and will do it as resolutely as 
she can do it peremptorily, unless a competent satisfaction be 
speedily tendered to my contentment. It were pity that divine 
handy-work should be employed but to a divine piece of service, 
either to gain a relenting soul, or to cast away an obstinate body. 
If she be prevented, by a voluntary submission of the offender, 
to do a thing done were a superfluous labour ; and to undo a man 
undone, an unmerciful cruelty : a thing as contrary to the shining 
loveliness of her mild disposition, as the bitterest bitter seemeth 
repugnant to the sweetest sweet. 

The bravest man is such a personage as I have elsewhere de- 
scribed ; a lion in the field, a lamb in the town : a Jove's eagle 
in feud, an Apollo's swan in society : a serpent in wit, a dove 
in life : a Fury in execution, an Angel in conversation. What 
hath the bravest man that she hath not? excepting the lion in 
the field of Mars, which she hath in the field of Minerva ; whose 
war she wageth with a courageous mind, an invincible hand, 
and the cunning array of the worthy old man in Homer. His 
talk was sweet, his order fine, and his whole menage brave ; and 
so is hers : but for a dainty wit, and a divine humanity, she is such 
a paragon as may compare with the excellentest of Homer's women, 
and pledge the honourablest of his goddesses. She is a right bird 
of Mercury's winged chariot; and teacheth the liveliest cocks of 
the game to bestir them early, to consort kindly, and to live in any 
estate honourably. No flower more flourishing than her wit : no 
fruit more mature than her judgment. All her conceits are illu- 
minate with the light of reason : all her speeches beautified with 
the grace of affability : all her writings seasoned with the salt of 
discretion : all her sentences spiced with wittiness, perfumed with 
delight, tempered with profit : no leaven of experience more sa- 
voury than all her platforms and actions; nothing more mellow 
than the whole course of her life. In her mind there appeareth a 


certain heavenly logic ; in her tongue and pen a divine rhetoric ; in 
her behaviour a refined moral philosophy ; in her government a so- 
vereign policy ; in every part of her proceeding a singular dexterity : 
and what pattern of skill or practice more admirable than the 
whole ? Let it not seem incredible that shall enact and accomplish 
more than is signified. The manner of her wrath or disdain, (yet I 
believe she was never froward with any, nor ever angry but with 
one; whom only she scorneth, and before whom she never con- 
temned any), is somewhat like the counter-tenor of an offended 
Syren ; or not much unlike the progress of the resplendent sun in 
the Scorpion. Her favour is liker triacle for the heart, than hip- 
pocras for the mouth : her disfavour, like the moon withdrawing the 
cheerly beams of her bounteous light in a cloud. Her hatred (if 
she can hate, for I verily think she never hated but one) like the 
fiery weapon of the fiery air. She is not lightly moved : but what 
she resembleth, or represented!, Avhen she is moved, could I as 
visibly declare as she can vigorously utter, I would deem myself 
a piece of an orator. And I were more than Tully's perfect 
orator, if I could display her excellent perfections, whose mind is 
as full of rich gifts, and precious jewels, as New-year's day 1 . Yet 
her goodliest ornament, and greatest wonder, is the sweet humility 
of that brave courage. But, in remembering her, I forget myself: 
and Avhat a tedious Letter is here for him, that maintaineth a 
chargeable family by following his business ? 

Had I not found you desirous of some particularities, touching 
Nash's S. Fame, and the Gentlewoman's Reply, when you delivered 
unto me Pierce's Supererogation in print, I had dispatched ere now. 
But now you must lend me patience until I have disballased my 
mind. Concerning her enditing, whereof I have already given you a 
taste, or smack, in Pierce's Supererogation ; as in the harmony of 

'. See, in the Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, a muster-roll of the rich gifts of New-years days. 

the mind, so in the melody of her verse, I seldom or never descry 
any note out of tune ; and it is not the first time I have termed 
her prose the tinsel of finest art and sweetest nature. What notes 
I find about Ela in the one, and what counter-points of exquisite 
workmanship I admire in the other, it shall elsewhere appear, in a 
dialogue intitled Pandora, or the Mirror of Singularity. Might I 
see the finest Art, and the sweetest Nature in person, I would report 
me to the censure of their own sovereign mouths ; the best judges 
in their own peerless faculty. There falleth not a sentence from 
her quill, without sap and pith ; and every period of her style car- 
rieth marmalade and sucket in the mouth ; and every argument 
of her invention savoureth of most savoury reason. No chain so 
linked as her conclusions ; nor any crystal so conspicuous as her 
method. Her whole discourse is the cream of the milk, the comb 
of the honey, the juice of the grape, and the marrow of the bone. 
The bestowing of her perfections, at occasion, a dainty choice, and 
fine marshalling of every excellency, curiously sorted in their pro- 
per places, like the gorgeous wardrobe of Helena, or the precious 
jewel-house of Cleopatra, or the cunning still-house of Medea, or 
the comely distributing of the neatest and gallantest furniture in 
the richest oeconomy. 

What needeth more? Her beginning like the purest oil in the 
crown of the rondelet : her proceeding, like the sovereignest wine 
in the midst of the butt : her ending, like the sweetest honey 
in the bottom of the honey-pot. Her intention was defensive, 
not offensive; and had any thing been tolerable, in that scur- 
rilous and villainous declamation, assuredly she would a thousand 
times rather have excused the matter, than accused the maker. 
Humanity is ever willinger to love than to hate, and so is she : 
courtesy much forwarder to commend than to dispraise, and so is 
she : clemency infinitely, proner to absolve than to condemn, and 
so is she. For she is a personal Humanity, a mere Courtesy, and 



a Clemency incorporate. But when she saw the foul mouth so 
shamefully run over, without all respect of manners or regard of 
honesty, or pretence of truth, or colour of reason : ' Gentlemen, 
quoth she. though I lack that you have, the art of confuting ; yet J 
have some suds of my mother-wit to souse such a dish-clout in ; 
and, if sousing will not serve the turn, I may haply find a pair of 
pincers, as sharply conceited as St. Dunstan's tongs, that led the 
Devil by the nose, autem, up and down the house, till the roaring 
beast bellowed out like a bull-beggar. 

* And as for his terrible cracks of gunpowder terms, never lend 
credit to the word of a gentlewoman, if I make not old mother Gun- 
powder of the newest of those rattling babies. And if steeping in 
aqua-fortis will infuse courage into his goose-quill ; why, man, I will 
douse thee over head and ears in such a doughty collyrium as will 
inspire the picture of snuff and fury into the image of St. Patience. 
I have not been squattering at my papers for nothing : and albeit I 
cannot paint with my pen like fine Sappho, yet I can daub with my 
ink, like none of the Muses ; and am prettily provided to entertain 
S. Fame with a homely gallimaufrey of little art, to requite her dainty 
slaum-paump of little wit. A poor kitchen may be as good an artist 
for the stomach as a poor dairy, (alas ! that ever S. Fame should be 
so whitled :) and it shall go hard in my cookery, but the syllabub 
of his stale invention shall be welcomed with a supping of a new 
fashion, and some strange syrup in commendam of his meritori- 
ous works. Though a railer hath more learning than a shrew, yet 
experience hath a fillip for a scholar, discretion a tuck for a fool, 
honesty a bob for a K, and my mortar a pestle for assafoetida. 
Let him be the falanta down-diddle of rhyme, the hayhohalliday of 
prose, the welladay of new writers, the cut-throat of his adversaries, 
the gallows of his companions, the only broker of pamphlets, or 
what he can for his sweltering heart : my battering instrument is 
resolute, and hath vowed to bray the braying creature to powder. 

' We must have at least three peccavies of Pierce Penniless, and 
three misereres of the confuting toss-pot, or Lord have mercy upon 
thee, three thousand times woeful wight. I am loth to struggle for the 
moonshine in the puddled water ; but if we must needs buckle for 
nifles, and grapple for naughts, though I cannot tell whether I can 
bounce him like a barn-door, or thump him like a drum of Flushing, 
yet I may chance rattle him like a baby of parchment, or knead 
him like a cake of dough, or churn him like a dish of butter, or 
jerk him like a hobbling gig, or tatter him like a thing forespoken, 
or some way have my pennyworths of his Penniless wit. Nay, if 
the princock must be playing upon them that can play upon his 
warped sconce as upon a tabor or a fiddle, let himself thank him- 
self, if he be kindly thumbed. Sirrah, I will stamp an unknown 
grape, that shall put the mighty Bourdeaux grape to bed ; and may 
peradventure broach a new tun of such nippitaty, as with the very 
steam of the nappy liquor will lullaby thy five wits like the senses of 
the drunkenest sot, when his brains are sweetliest perfumed. I fit thee 
with a similitude for thy capacity, or belch a new Confutation 
against the long tongues of the Stilliard, and some twenty taverns 
in London. I could be content, a drunken prose and a mad 
rhyme were thy deadliest sins. But they are sweet youths that 
tipple their wits with quaffing of knavery, and carousing of atheism. 
If there be no other jollities at home, or braveries abroad, it is 
happy for them that were born with those prizes in their throats. 
And well fare a frolic courage, that will needs be the tower of 
Babylonian conceit ; and with a mighty bulwark of Supererogation 
gloriously confound itself/ 

The rest of her speeches and writings are to be recorded or 
suppressed, as it pleaseth the horn of these pelting sturres, who may 
haply find the trumpet of peace as sure a soldier, in case of neces- 
sary defence, as the drum of war, or the swash of feud. Some that 
have perused eloquent books, and researched most curious writings, 


have not seen goodlier variety of varnished phrases, and burnished 
sentences, than in her style ; which was not so gorgeously decked, 
and so fairly limned, for nought. Howbeit, as in some public 
causes, better a mischief than an inconvenience ; so in many private 
cases, better an inconvenience than a mischief. Though an orient 
gem be precious, and worthy to be gazed upon with the eye of 
admiration, yet better an orient gem sleep, than a penitent man 
perish ; and better a delicate piece of art should be laid aside, or 
unwoven, like Penelope's web, than an immortal piece of nature be 
cast away. She loveth not to confute that confuteth itself; and I 
hate to confound that confoundeth himself. She, in the court of 
civility, hath learned to embrace amendment with the arms of 
courtesy ; and I in the school of divinity am taught to kiss repent- 
ance with the lips of charity. 

I affect not any colourable insinuation in glossing or smooth- 
ing terms of formal accord ; but misery accompany my actions, 
and the mercy of heaven be my unmerciful enemy, if I desire not 
with a longing heart to wreak my teene upon Avild indiscretion, 
by requiting good for bad; and converting the wormwood of just 
offence into the angelica of pure atonement. The only reason 
of my demurrer is my assurance, which consisteth rather in diffi- 
dence than in credulity ; and cannot warrantise itself what will 
be done, until it is done. He were very simple, that, having 
so heavy causes of diffidence, and so light causes of credulity, 
would run hastily into the trap, or suffer himself to be presently en- 
tangled in the snare. Parley is a subtle sophister, flattery a tick- 
ling solicitor, and persuasion an enchanting witch. I cannot but 
listen unto them with an itching ear, and conceive as it were a tang 
of pleasure in mine own displeasure : but without legem pone, words 
are wind ; and without actual performance, all nothing. Had I not 
more premises of distrust, than promises of trust ; or were he not 
ever to be presumed a bad fellow, that hath once played the bad 


fellow with a witness, (nothing but contrary proof can reverse that 
judgment) : yet lawyers love real cautions, and they that would be 
loth to be enticed by white, and defeated by black, are curious 
of their security. Truce was ever a redoubtable friend ; and Sus- 
picion hath cause to look upon Reconciliation with a jealous eye. 
Reconciliation is a sweet word ; but entire reconciliation a rare 
thing, and a strange restorative ; whose sweetness lieth not in the tip 
of the tongue, or the nib of the pen, but in the bottom of the heart, 
and in the bowels of the mind ; the mind, that daily improveth 
itself the only deep politician and inscrutable hypocrite, whose 
inwardest secrets, notwithstanding, are not so profound or close, 
especially in the shallow breast of inconsiderate youth, but they 
may in sort be sounded and discovered by a cunning observation 
of circumstances. 

Some essential points I reserve to myself. But Mr. Wolfe 
knoweth, (and who knoweth not?) great penmen, and pamphlet- 
merchants, play much upon the advantage of the time; and care 
not who be their enemy, so the Term be their friend. Which of 
us can tell, but there may lie the drift and great policy of the new 
motion? I have earnestly and instantly craved personal confer- 
ence : but that should seem to make little for his purpose, or might 
have been granted with less suit. All must be done by the media- 
tion of a third and a fourth, and such an intercourse as I may 
probably have in some jealousy, though I conceive well of the inter- 
posed persons. There hath already been a large expence of time, 
and charges continually run ; and matters of more importance lie 
dead in the nest ; and the burned finger hath reason to startle from 
the fire ; and he that hath been once abused, would not willingly 
be abused twice ; and security cannot be too precise or scrupulous ; 
and I would there were no Coney-catchers in London. Till a pub- 
lic injury be publicly confessed, and print confuted in print, I am 
one of S. Thomas' disciples ; not over pressed to believe, but as 

cause causeth ; and very ready to forgive, as effect effecteth. They 
that know the danger of truces, and the coven of treaties, ut supra, 
must beg leave to ground their repose upon more cautels than one, 
and to proceed in terms of suspense, or pause, till they may be 
resolved with infallible assurance. 

For mine own determination, I see no credible hope of peace 
but in Avar ; and could I not command that I desire, I am persuaded 
I should hardly obtain that I wish. I love osculum pads, but hate 
osculum Judce; and reverence the tears of Christ, but fear the tears of 
the crocodile. Shall I be a little plain ? Methinks the ranging eyes 
under the long hair (which some wou d call ruffianly hair), should 
scarcely yet be bathed in the heavenly tears of Christ, or washed in the 
divine tears of penitence. Irish hair, and weeping Irish, are no white 
crows in these countries : and although there be no wolves in England, 
yet there be foxes in the hole. I would be loth to aggravate the least 
or greatest particular against a penitential soul : but still to haunt 
infamous or suspected houses, taverns, lewd company, and riotous 
fashions, as before, (for to this day his behaviour is no turn-coat, 
though his style be a changeling), is a greater liberty, in my small 
divinity, than accordeth with that devout and most holy profession. 
Lord, how curious was the wiser sort even of the Heathen philoso- 
phers, in the neat and exquisite choice of their pure diet, undefiled 
society, virgin-manners, unstained discourses, and unspotted actions? 
What so clarified as their wit, so purified as their mind, so sweetened 
as their conference, so virtuous as their instruction, so powerful as 
their experiments, so exemplary as their life, so unblemished as 
their fame? I know not who weeped the funeral* Tears of Mary 
Magdalen 1 : I would he that sheddeth the pathetical Tears of Christ, 
and trickleth the liquid tears of Repentance, were no worse affected 

1 Mary Magdalen's Teares are among the works of Robert Southwell, the Jesuit ; 
but no edition of them so early as 1593 is known. 


in pure devotion, than those philosophers in moral conversation. 
Were I not content, in some little hope of his final recovery, either 
in deed or in shew, to do him a meritorious favour by concealing 
his utter discredit ; 1 would easily, and would notoriously, make him 
ashamed of some of his late sayings and doings. O Lord, how un- 
beseeming the Tears of Christ ; and, alas, how likely to forerun a 
miserable destiny ! 

Let him reform his public, and redress his private enormities, 
and with a sincere vow I swear him friendship; or let him rest quiet, 
and I am quiet : otherwise, I may possibly be induced to pay him 
home with an immortal revenge, that hath plagued his own tongue 
with desperate blasphemies in jest. O Christ ! of how horrible con- 
sequence, without tears in earnest? There is a great distance be- 
twixt hell and heaven, the devil and God, rakehells and saints ; the 
Supplication to the Devil, and the Tears of Christ ; the strange news 
of villainy, and the miraculous news of repentance ; the herald of 
war, and the ambassador of peace ; the public notary of lies, and 
the register of truth ; the devil's orator, and Christ's chancellor. 

Though Greene were a Julian, and Marlow a Lucian, yet I 
would be loth he should be an Aretine, that paraphrased the in- 
estimable books of Moses, and discoursed the capricious dialogues 
of rankest bawdry ; that penned one apology of the Divinity of 
Christ, and another of Pederastice, a kind of harlotry not to be re- 
eited ; that published the Life of the blessed Virgin, and the Legend 
of the errant Putana; that recorded the History of S. Thomas of 
Aquin, and forged the most detestable black book, De Tribus Impos- 
toribus Mundi. O monster of extremities ! and O abomination of 
outrageous wit ! It was his glory to be a hell-hound incarnate, and 
to spoil Origen of his egregious praise : Ubi bene, nemo melius; Ubi 
male, nemo pejus. Some surmounting spirits love to arrear a huge 
opinion of their excessive validity pro or contra. Hyperbolical vir- 
tues (it is Aristotle's epithet) are heavenly miracles, and hideous 


excellency an heroical wonder, like the labours of Hercules, and 
the bounties of errant knights ; but superlative knavery is a rank 
villain, and ugly blasphemy a foul devil, tormented with his own 
damnable mouth. 

It is not puffing or blustering in bombasted terms, or Baby- 
lonian phrases, but the fine and sweet course of virtue, of industry, 
of beau desert, of valour, of true bravery, that performeth worthy 
actions, and purchaseth the honour of the world. If Humanity 
will needs grow miraculous, it must fly with the wing of Divinity, 
not flutter with the plume of Atheism, or hoise the sail of Presump- 
tion. Whosoever despiseth the Majesty of Heaven, or playeth the 
Democritus in God's cause, be his wit never so capon-crammed 
in vanity, or his heart never so toad-swoln in surquedry, is the ab- 
jectest vermin, and vilest pad, that creepeth on the earth. If there 
be no such matter in the world, all the better ; if there be, woe be 
to the authors of their own confusion ; and blessed they that take 
forth a good lesson from other men's miscarriage. Happy, and ten 
thousand times happy, that inspired Heraclitus, that poureth out 
the most tender affectionate Tears of Christ with the flowing eyes of 
zeal, and the melting eloquence of his bowels. Other oratory Avould 
be feed as it persuadeth, or thanked as it edifieth ; or honoured, as 
it ravisheth hearts with a powerful impression ; or admired, as it 
stealeth souls with a divine sacrilege. He is the perfect orator, 
that figureth and representeth every thing in art as it is in nature ; 
that dispatcheth light points roundly, handleth weightier matters 
more substantially; in the gravest subject proceedeth with due 
reverence ; and of faith discourseth faithfully, of heaven heavenly, 
of divinity divinely, of Christ like Christ. Dalliance, in the sagest 
and highest causes, is an absurdity ; and like a ridiculous Vice in 
tragedy, or a poisonous Serpent in Paradise. Non est bonum, ludere 
cum Sanctis: cum Christo ludere, execrabile. Aretine was a reprobate 
ruffian; but even Castilio and Machiavel, that were not greatly 


religious in conscience, yet were religious in policy; and there is no 
kingdom or commonwealth upon earth so profane or barbarous, 
but either in conscience is, or in policy seemeth religious, or cannot 
possibly maintain any durable state. I would every author that 
had done no better, had done no worse: and it were to be wished, 
that some desperate wits were not so forward to disbowel the en- 
trails of their own impious minds. 

Pliny's and Lucian's religion may ruffle and scoff awhile ; but 
extreme vanity is the best beginning of that bravery, and extreme 
misery the best end of that felicity. Greene and Mat-low might ad- 
monish other to advise themselves ; and I pray God, the promised 
tears of repentance prove not the tears of the onion upon the theatre. 
If I knew no more than I utter, I would hope no less than I wish ; but, 
hearing what I hear, and conceiving what I conceive, I would be 
unfeignedly glad he should exceed my expectation ; and when he 
hath resolved my incredulity with a little actual performance, I will 
not fail to render him right with extensive favour. For my particu- 
lar, let his professed pmritet appear by any reasonable or tolerable 
satisfaction, without fraud or collusion, and I am no way rigorous in 
revenge, or obstinate in displeasure. Meanwhile, it is haply not amiss 
to consider by the way, that truth begetteth hatred ; virtue, envy ; 
familiarity, contempt; favour, pride; pardon, recklesness; and 
credulity, damage or danger. A strange case, that so good mothers 
should bring forth so bad daughters ; but improbity, or iniquity,, 
(or what should I term that naughty humour ?) is the fifth element 
of the world ; and consultation w r ere better to sit safely between 
yea and no, than to fall suddenly with a hasty 7/0, or stand weakly 
with a simple yea. My affection is ready to subscribe to any in- 
different articles of accord (for, bona Jide, I affect agreement), but 
my reason hath reason to pause awhile ; and a scruple or two of 
some dependence may seem to say No. But even those two nega- 
tives (upon a firm and undefeasible security, sine dolo malo), would 



be conformable enough to conclude an affirmative, and will not 
stick at any transaction or composition that is not unreasonable. 
To make short (for no jet or loadstone so attractive as lines, that 
draw unto them so many self-offering sentences ; and I have already 
unmeasurably exceeded my stint), he that longeth to enjoy the fruit 
of private amity and public favour, hasteth not to embrace the 
blossom, or to dote upon the shadow. His only final request, and 
affectionate prayer, is, that howsoever poor men be used, the dear 
Tears of Christ, and the cheap tears of Repentance, be not abused. 
All is well that endeth effectually well ; and for your instruction can 
assure you, he needeth not send to Athens for honey, or to Spain 
for sugar, or to Italy for aniseeds, or to the Orient for saunders or 
pearls, that may find as fine and dainty choice nearer hand. I can 
say nothing for myself, whose date is expired ; but I dare ascertain 
you, three drops of the oil of roses, or three drops of the mercury 
of bugloss, will enstrengthen the brain, or comfort the heart more, 
than six and six ounces of their common syrups. A greater differ- 
ence betwixt artificial and rude styles, refined and drossy wits, skil- 
ful and ignorant judgments, available and unprofitable works, I 
commend to the consideration of the press, with a right hearty 
farewell ! 

Your assured, wherein he may pleasure you, 


This \6lhofSeptember, 1593. 




ST. FAME dispos'd to coney-catch the world, 

UpreaiM a wonderment of Eighty-eight; 

The Earth adreading to be overwhirl*d, 
* What now avails/ quoth she, * my balance-weight ?' 
The Circle snuTd to see the Centre fear : 

The wonder was, no wonder fell that year. 

Wonders enhance their power in numbers odd : 
The fatal year of years is Ninety-three : 
Parma hath kist, De-maine entreats the rod : 

War wond'reth, Peace and Spain in France to see. 

Brave Eckenberg the doughty Bassa shames ; 
The Christian Neptune Turkish Vulcan tames ; 
Navarre woos Rome, Charlemagne gives Guise the phy 

Weep Paul's, thy Tamerlane vouchsafes to die. 

Hie hugest miracles remain behind, 

The second Shakerley Rash-Swash to bind. 

A Stanza declarmtice: to the. Lovers of admirable Works. 
PLEASED it hath a Gentlewoman rare, 

With phoenix quill in diamond hand of Ait, 
To muzzle the redoubtable bull-bear, 
And play the galiard championess's part. 
Though miracles surcease, yet wonder, see 
The mightiest miracle of Ninety-three. 

Fi cmuiUi crpers, mole not MM 

The Writer's Postscript; or, a friendly Caveat to the second 

Shakerley of Paul's. 


SLUMBERING I lay, in melancholy bed, 
Before the dawning of the sanguine light, 
When Echo shrill, or some familiar sprite, 

Buzzed an epitaph into my head. 

Magnific minds, bred of Gargantua's race, 

In grisly weeds his obsequies waiment 1 ; 

Whose corps on Paul's, whose mind triumphed on Kent, 
Scorning to bate Sir Rodomont an ace. 

I mus'd awhile ; and having mus'd awhile, 
Jesu ! (quoth I) is that Gargantua mind 
Conquer'd, and left no Scanderbeg behind ? 

Vowed he not to Paul's a second bile? 

What bile, or kibe? (quoth that same early sprite) 
Have you forgot the Scanderbegging wight ? 


Is it a dream ? or is the highest mind, 
That ever haunted Paul's, or hunted wind, 
Bereft of that same sky-surmounting breath, 
That breath that taught the tympany to swell ? 

He and the Plague contended for the game: 
The haughty man extols his hideous thoughts, 

'i..e.: Lament. 


And gloriously insults upon poor souls, 

That plague themselves : for faint hearts plague themselves. 

The tyrant Sickness of base-minded slaves, 
Oh how it domineers in Coward Lane? 
So Surquedry rang out his larum bell, 
When he had girn'd at many a doleful knell. 

The grand disease disdained his toad conceit, 
And, smiling at his Tamerlane contempt, 
Sternly struck home the peremptory stroke. 
He that nor feared God, nor dreaded devil, 
Nor aught admired but his wond'rous self; 
Like Juno's gaudy bird, that proudly stares 
On glittering fan of his triumphant tail : 
Or like the ugly bug, that scorn' d to die, 
And mounts of glory rear'd in tow'ring wit : 
Alas ! but Babel pride must kiss the pit. 

L.' Envoy. 

Paul's steeple, and a huger thing is down : 
Beware the next bull-beggar of the town. 

Fata immatura vagantur. 


From the Private Preu of 

Printed by T. DAVISON, Wtiitefriars, London. 



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